CHHSM Discussion Group to Delve into ‘Reason to Have Hope’ Course

CHHSM’s Reason to Have Hope: A Public Health Response to Racism course is the third offering of the Together We Learn Discussion Group program. The discussion on the multi-part, online, interactive, free course begins Sept. 14.

Reason to Have Hope was created as a resource for the UCC General Synod resolution — co-authored by CHHSM and the UCC Council on Racial and Ethnic Ministries — ‘To Declare and Respond to Racism as a Public Health Crisis,’ which delegates approved in July,” said the Rev. Dr. Elyse Berry, CHHSM’s associate for advocacy and leadership development and creator of the Reason to Have Hope curriculum. “We are offering this course as part of our discussion group in order to continue the call to action and momentum arising out of the resolution.”

Everyone wishing to participate should sign up for the discussion group and then register for the course. Participants will receive calendar invitations for the group, including Zoom instructions.

Reason to Have Hope supports people in all settings of the church gain a deeper understanding of the harm that racism and white supremacy have on health and well-being. The material focuses on the systemic causes of health disparities for People of African Descent, Indigenous, Peoples, and other people of Color, and on how the work of health equity is tied to liberation for all.

The discussion group sessions will take place every other Tuesday from 1 till 2 p.m. ET through March 15, and will be facilitated by various CHHSM staff members. As with past groups, participation is free, and participants are not required to attend every session. “Since all of the course content in online, people can easily go back and learn more about a specific topic, or catch up on a session they missed,” said Berry.

Key to the course is its deep theological grounding. Not only does it present the facts of painful realities, but it also relates stories of humanity, resistance, and solutions from lived experience. Reason to Have Hope begins by laying a foundation on approaching racism as a public health crisis, and then delves into specific issues and topics. Topics covered include racism in medicine, health disparities, health equity, poverty, trauma, and health ministries, among others.

Any UCC member or friend is welcome to join the Together We Learn group and sign up for the Reason to Have Hope discussion. Previous groups have discussed “Native” by Kaitlyn Curtis and “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi.

CHHSM President and CEO Michael J. Readinger emphasized that this latest discussion group program is another step in the process of becoming Anti-Racist. “Understanding the magnitude and long history of racism — not just in public health, but in society as a whole — is imperative in becoming Anti-Racist,” Readinger said. “We believe ‘Reason to Have Hope’ provides the grounding for all UCC congregations, CHHSM members and friends to move forward in achieving that goal. By becoming Anti-Racist, we can build a more just, caring, and compassionate world.”

Sign up for the Together We Learn discussion group.

Register for the “Reason to Have Hope” course.

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