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Steeple Newsletter

First Church Reads: So You Want to Talk About Race

Ijeoma Oluo talks about race in a conversation with the reader that is direct, honest, and strong, while also compassionate, warm, and, at times, humorous. This frank, straightforward conversation provided me with perspective, explanations, and actionable tools for how to understand and listen in order to talk in a meaningful way about race.

by Donna Gregory on September 01, 2020

"First Church Reads" is a feature section of the Steeple where staff members or members of the church may be invited to offer book and formation recommendations that specifically help deepen spiritual life. This week we have recommendations from Donna Gregory on the book, So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. 

Our own Pastor Jake and I have the honor of serving as board members of Raise the Roof, the Shoreline Habitat connection. As a recent foundational step in our commitment to action in support of Black Lives Matter, Raise the Roof board members read the book So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo, and invited the Shoreline community to join us. (You can purchase or order the book locally at Breakwater Books and RJ Julia Booksellers.)

Ijeoma Oluo talks about race in a conversation with the reader that is direct, honest, and strong, while also compassionate, warm, and, at times, humorous. This frank, straightforward conversation provided me with perspective, explanations, and actionable tools for how to understand and listen in order to talk in a meaningful way about race. I found myself pausing often to ponder. I think of the book as a resource for how to grow steadily into taking part in and initiating my own impactful conversations about race.

Raise the Roof’s words of commitment to action are below. Raise the Roof invites our Shoreline community to share with us what you’re reading, resources you’re finding, and work that you’re doing. Our email address is . Raise the Roof will share ongoing invitations to join us as we make our way in action.

Raise the Roof’s Commitment to Action in Support of Black Lives Matter: 

The Raise the Roof board of directors stands with our partner families, volunteers, sponsors, and donors to recognize that our work does not stop at building homes with Habitat for Humanity of Greater New Haven. Our building must include helping to construct an inclusive community where Black lives matter, and everyone has dignity and the opportunity to thrive. We commit as a group and as individuals: to do the work to understand, recognize, and help to dismantle systemic racism; to actively participate in laying the foundation for our community to grow in empathy and compassion; to do the work to better understand how the ways in which we move through the world create ripples that affect those around us. Please learn with us and work with us as together we take the important steps to turn our words into action. 

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