Course on Racism Helps Learner Address “Unconscious Biases”

Racism in America: The Most Vital and Challenging Issue (March, 2019)
Guy Emerson Mount, Gwendolyn Etter-Lewis, Niki Daniels

Terry McVay, a learner from the March 2019 course on Racism in America had this to say about the impact of the course on his daily life.

I am still absorbing the materials but they have already allowed me some very satisfying interactions with people generally, and most importantly with my neighbors. They have been simply amazing! The story of Thanksgiving, the recommended readings such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Robin DiAngelo, and so many others from the course, are urging me to deepen my understanding of the principle of oneness in much the same way as pilgrimage opened my eyes to the Institution of the Guardianship. I am carefully learning to identify and begin to address those unconscious biases that the Guardian wrote about [see quote below], and realizing at each step, how long the path is going to be… I love it!

“Let the white make a supreme effort in their resolve to contribute their share to the solution of this problem, to abandon once for all their usually inherent and at times subconscious sense of superiority, to correct their tendency towards revealing a patronizing attitude towards the members of the other race, to persuade them through their intimate, spontaneous and informal association with them of the genuineness of their friendship and the sincerity of their intentions, and to master their impatience of any lack of responsiveness on the part of a people who have received, for so long a period, such grievous and slow-healing wounds.” —Shoghi Effendi, Advent of Divine Justice, p. 40

Terry went on to say:

Shoghi Effendi, Guardian and appointed head of the Bahá’í Faith from 1921 until his death in 1957,  emphasized that freedom from racial prejudice “should be consistently demonstrated in every phase of their activity and life, whether in the Bahá’í community or outside it, in public or in private, formally as well as informally, individually as well as in their official capacity as organized groups, committees and Assemblies. It should be deliberately cultivated through the various and everyday opportunities, no matter how insignificant, that present themselves, whether in their homes, their business offices, their schools and colleges, their social parties and recreation grounds, their Bahá’í meetings, conferences, conventions, summer schools and Assemblies.” —Advent of Divine Justice, p.36

Racism in America was launched in 2018, when it was run twice (at full capacity). It will be run again in October, with a special guest/discussant, Dr Anthony Outler. Anthony serves as an Assistant Principal at Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School in Decatur, Georgia. He says “This course is definitely necessary—particularly as our community strives to move beyond mere sloganizing about oneness and race unity to engaging in meaningful conversations about race that are informed by history, sociology, and the Writings.”

To register, click the link below. For more details watch the video.

Register for Racism in America (starts Oct. 10, 2019)

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