Racial Justice Initiative

Contact:  Linda Campbell at lacampbell52@gmail.com or Barb Iverson at barbiverson100@icloud.com

What’s Going On

Plymouth Discussion of Public Safety in the Beloved Community

Session 1:  Commissioner Harrington’s 1st Police Encounter Dilemma

Thursday, March 3, at 7 pm


Commissioner Harrington is working with Interfaith Action of Greater St. Paul to engage faith communities throughout the state in a series of three or four public safety discussions.  Each discussion will be inspired by the question of how the values of our respective faith traditions should guide the response to a specific police encounter dilemma that Commissioner Harrington will create.


Plymouth’s role in this project

In late January, Commissioner Harrington introduced the first police encounter dilemma to Reverend Davis and our RiCS team. Harrington will introduce further dilemma scenarios to faith-based communities in late March, late May and possibly in July. Interested Plymouth members will then engage with each other in conversation about each of these dilemmas. These conversations will be structured as follows:

(i)  We will give our immediate and visceral reactions to the police officer’s dilemma, without the benefit of thoughtful reflection — remembering that the officer confronted with the dilemma does not have time to engage in thoughtful reflection.

(ii)  Reverend Davis will introduce us to a text from our faith tradition, either from the Bible or from other learned faith texts, inviting us to consider the best response to the dilemma from the perspective of the core values illuminated in this faith reading.

(iii)  We will break out into small groups to discuss the dilemma again in light of the faith reading.

(iv) RiCS will harvest and summarize the responses from each of these discussions and send this summary report to Interfaith.

(v)  Interfaith will collate reports from all of the participating faith communities for Commissioner Harrington and share those reports with the participating faith communities

The Racial Justice Initiative at Plymouth Church will offer a free, in person, training on Community Organizing and Social Movements Saturday, May 14, 2022 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. <div  class='avia-button-wrap avia-button-center ' ><a href='https://secure.accessacs.com/access/eventlogin.aspx?id=Puf0tBmaLHEqMQuJQg8eOw==&site=106818&ReturnUrl=events%2fwz_people.aspx&ChurchID=5136&EventID=219755&sn=106818'  class='avia-button  avia-color-theme-color   avia-icon_select-no avia-size-small avia-position-center '   ><span class='avia_iconbox_title' >Register Here</span></a></div> Everyone wants justice, everyone wants peace – but how do we move from talk to action? This one day workshop will walk you through the basis of grassroots community organizing and social movements so you can better understand how your activism can fit into the opportunities before us as well as participate with skill and understanding. Among the topics discussed include understanding the difference between service and empowerment, how to develop and execute a strategy chart, the power of one-to-one conversations, and the eight stages of a social movement, and more! The late Ann Manning, RJI co-chair, said of this training: It is easy to get discouraged when things don’t change fast enough, and the model of the Eight Stages helps me see the long game. I also found that understanding the Four Roles people play invaluable. We all have a role to play, and it’s so important to see and understand those who are different from you. I encourage everyone who is interested to attend training. You will not regret it. Claudia will make it fun, engaging, and well worth your time.” Claudia Albano, who taught social movement theory at the University of California-Berkeley for 20 years and is a long-time community activist, will share her knowledge of and involvement in community activism and social movements.


The RJI is always looking for volunteers to assist with programming activities.  Topics and sub-committees include the following:  building working and personal relationships with organizations and fighting systemic racism; partnering with Isaiah and other local organizations on voter enfranchisement efforts; reforming police and improving public safety; communicating to the congregation about how people can get involved; fostering the congregation’s curiosity about U.S. history and dismantling the narrative about white supremacy, American exceptionalism and the history of race relations; promoting congregational dialogue through Racial Justice Circles and other ways; inviting speakers on racial justice topics; providing support and racial justice resources; cultivating a relationship between the RJI and the Immigration Welcome Working Group; enhancing resource offerings with books, articles, podcasts, movies and encourage internal reflection; leading book reviews; and encouraging members to share their personal experiences and to understand their own white privilege.  Please contact RJI co-chairs Linda Campbell at lacampbell52@gmail.com or Barb Iverson at barbiverson100@icloud.com

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