CHHSM Anti-Racism Center

An Invitation to Brave Space

By Micky ScottBey Jones

"Together we will create brave space.
Because there is no such thing as a 'safe space'—
We exist in the real world.
We all carry scars
and we have all caused wounds.

In this space we seek to turn down
the volume of the outside world.
We amplify voices that fight
to be heard elsewhere.
We call each other to
more truth and love.

We have the right to start somewhere
and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine
what we think we know.

We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be.
But it will be our brave space together,
and we will work on it
side by side."

Welcome

At CHHSM, we seek to ground all the work that we do in our vision: “together, we create a just, caring and compassionate world.” Such a world cannot exist while white supremacy, racism, and anti-blackness continue to dominate policies, organizations, faith communities, culture, beliefs, and daily life. Yet the good news of the Gospel offers us a way to engage and transform that dominance, while in the midst of it; to be present to the pain, while feeling the life-force of the resurrection; to heed the wisdom of the prophets of old, while making room for this moment’s truth to be born out of us. As Christians, we follow a messiah who preached a message of liberation, lived a life of interconnectedness, and died by state-sanctioned violence for doing so. However, Christ shows us that violence does not have the final say, and thus calls us to the deeply spiritual work of reckoning, repair, and recreating. To be a disciple is to be anti-racist.

This page is intended to be part of that work and discipleship. Through self and communal reflection and by continuing to gather resources, ideas, and wisdom, we hope this online collection supports our journey together on the road of justice and grace.

Reflection Questions

  • Where do I fit into this collective story of anti-racism? —Tiffany M. Jewell, Good Ancestor Podcast: Episode #30
  • What is the narrative of my life saying, asking, shouting? What story is my organization or community telling right now?
  • How do I become a good ancestor? How can I create a legacy of healing and liberation for those who are here in this lifetime and those who come after I’m gone? —Layla F. Saad, Good Ancestor Podcast
  • Tell a story in six words about something that recently brought you delight in the midst of all these hard things. —enfleshed
  • Imagine you have an anti-racist toolbox that you carry around with you, what’s in it and why? —Tiffany M. Jewell, This Book is Anti-racist

Together with CHHSM

If we do not know how to meaningfully talk about racism, our actions will move in misleading directions.

—Angela Y. Davis, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

In this section, you will find resources from CHHSM and UCC communities as well as foundational anti-racist books, discussion guides, poetry, media, etc.

Together with Nonprofits

For the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.

—Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

The resources in this section are focused on anti-racism work in non-profit organizations, employee relations, and leadership. It is important to be able to identify and use the tools directed towards meaningful change and equity.

Together with Movements

I think it is healing behavior, to look at something so broken and see the possibility and wholeness in it.

—adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy

This section draws attention to the perspectives on racial justice and police brutality from social movements. Specifically, we felt it important to highlight the movements within health and human services that have provided frameworks for our Be a Voice Advocacy Toolkit. This is not an all-inclusive list, but it illustrates how racism shows up in every layer of our society—from health care and food access to housing and incarceration. These particular movements were also founded or are predominantly led by Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color and are guided by the lived experiences of these communities, especially those experiences that were ignored by other justice movements.

Land Acknowledgment

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Council for Health and Human Service Ministries, United Church of Christ acknowledges that we reside on the traditional homeland of the Lenape (Delaware), Shawnee, Wyandot Miami, Ottawa, Potawatomi, and other Great Lakes tribes (Chippewa, Kickapoo, Wea, Pinakahsw, and Kaskaskia) who have stewarded this land for generations. We also acknowledge the thousands of Native Americans who now call Northeast Ohio home.