The Pinch: We Need to Talk About Racism

The Pinch is a new segment on the blog that will feature simple lessons you can use in a pinch.


Picture by JamieSkinner00 on Flickr CC License 

From Ferguson, MO to SAE at University of Oklahoma, from #blacklivesmatter to #SAEhatesus we need to talk about racism in our youth groups.

In the youth ministries I’ve been a part of I’ve witnessed blatant racism by students. I’ve overheard “jokes” that students tell. I’ve also seen it be unconscious, not understanding that what they are saying is racist.

This one time at church camp, a white girl said in jest to another student, “Get your cotton pickin hands off of me.” She meant nothing by it and everyone laughed but when I mentioned to her the context of what she just said, she was horrified and apologized.

I’ve also witnessed students rally together to fight against racism. Just recently in Memphis, Central High School students gathered to march in commemoration with the 50th anniversary of MLK march in Selma, Alabama.

Our denomination is in the midst of discussions to unify our two denominations. One of the most glaring differences of these two denominations is skin color.

We need to talk about race.

It’s not enough to wish racism away, we have to be proactive with our groups and discuss this issue. You might even think about bringing your group to Memphis to experience the National Civil Rights Museum.

But this is the Pinch…so…

Below you will find several resources to help you talk with your youth groups about racism, prejudice and discrimination.

Do you have any good resources? Any comments? Share them in the comment section below.

Resources to use for lessons dealing with racism

Institute for Youth Ministry at PTS: Talking Race With Youth

The Source for Youth Ministry: All Equal in God’s Eyes

More Than Dodgeball: Stereotypes Part 1 & Part 2

Youth Worker: Blindside

Youth Ministry: District 9

If you are looking for a lighter introduction to your lesson think about using this video: Racist Coffee by Julian Smith

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