Why I'm Participating in the Wild Goose Racial Justice Institute

racial diversity (frimages.iStock)

illustration by frimages / iStockphoto.com

by Sarah Withrow King

On July 7, 2016, on the eve of 2016's Wild Goose Festival, I'll be participating in a Racial Justice Institute sponsored by ESA.

My primary vocation is animal protection. I'm an indoor kitty, and this is an outdoor festival. I grew up in Oregon and get hot and cranky when exposed to temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. But I'm really excited, and I want to tell you why so that you'll consider joining Micky, AnaYelsi, Darren, Kenji, Paul, Jen, Kristyn, and me for this one-day interactive workshop engaging issues of race and justice through practical, spiritual, emotional, historical, and social streams of knowledge.

And so, a list. I'm thrilled to participate in the Racial Justice Institute….

  1. Because we'll look at race through a whole bunch of lenses, making for a deeper, richer experience.
  2. Because liberal progressives need to be redeemed, right alongside the right-wingers and independents and everyone between and beyond.
  3. Because I've hung out with these folks before, and it's a guaranteed good time.
  4. Because in 1995, I told the only African American kid in my class that "racism doesn't exist anymore" and didn't realize how wrong I was until Trayvon Martin was shot walking home from the store.
  5. Because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
  6. Because my fight for animals, your fight for gender equality, his fight for the unborn, her fight for safe schools, our fight for one another won't mean a thing as long as skin color is used to measure the worth of a person.
  7. Because it's possible to acknowledge past and current injustice, to accept that light skin is privileged skin and that people who looked like me perpetuated and continue to perpetuate horrific crimes against people who do not look like me…and not get bogged down in white guilt.
  8. Because white fragility is as damaging as white supremacy.
  9. Because I want my young son to grow up watching me tackle white privilege head on so that he becomes an anti-racist man.

Sign up, would you? I need people like you to walk this road with me.

Sarah Withrow King is the Deputy Director of the Sider Center, the co-director of CreatureKind, and the author of two books, Animals Are Not Ours (No Really, They're Not): An Evangelical Animal Liberation Theology. (Wipf & Stock) and Vegangelical: How Caring for Animals Can Shape Your Faith (Zondervan).


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