SIM News

Opening Conversations about the Legacy of Race Today

Opening Conversations about the Legacy of Race Today


Race, History, and Justice

The entire nation is now focused on questions of race, history, and justice, creating a moment for faith leaders that is both rich with opportunity and fraught with uncertainty. How do we open authentic conversations about race? How do we ground those conversations in the 400 year legacy of race in America, rather than just a snapshot of the present moment? How do we create spaces of genuine connection and deep listening? Join us for an experiential workshop with Constance and Dain Perry, who have worked with hundreds of congregations and community organizations across the country to do just that. The workshop will model their facilitation techniques and a sample first conversation that draws people from their heads, into their hearts, and invites authentic sharing of personal experience. This will be followed by an open period of question and answer designed to help attendees learn and adapt approaches to their own communities to open conversations about the legacy of race today.

As participants in the documentary "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North," Constance and Dain traced the history of Dain's ancestors, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history, and the legacy of this hidden enterprise in America today. They have traveled the country screening the documentary and following it with the type of conversation that they will be modeling for us. Their approach is grounded in enabling people to name and share feelings and stories as an avenue for opening dialog across differences. The movie is available for $2.99 online rental at

There are many excellent resources about race - and opening conversations is a question of practice. As an organization dedicated to equipping transformational leaders, SIM knows that resources help… and the answers to our hardest leadership challenges generally are not written down. SIM aims to equip clergy and lay leaders with the tools and practice to cultivate thriving communities focused on the issues that matter most.

Watch the Full Webinar Recording: YOUTUBE

Listen to the PodCast: SOUNDCLOUD

Resources Mentioned in the Webinar:

Traces of the Trade Website:

Scaffolding of anti-racism resources and education that can be used to meet white people at different current levels of understanding and move them deeper, depending on where they are starting:

Episcopal Church guidance on organizing dialog:

Dain and Constance's Resource Sheet