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Course M25 101: Awakening to Structural Racism

Course Description


This class is designed for those whose awareness of the dynamics of structural racism is being awakened due to the uprisings in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and Tony McDade, and for those who have been aware of these dynamics and who desire a brave space in which to more deeply explore their own participation in systems of white supremacy. 


Cost: suggested donation is $40 to $160 for this course, which is made up of four online classes. No participant will be turned away based on inability to make a donation. For those with the means to pay, participants are asked to determine their donation amount based on their own economic situation. 


In general, please use the following guide to help you in determining an appropriate donation:


  • No payment or below minimum – due to special circumstances that make it impossible for you to pay
  • Minimum in the range – for single people making below $30,000 per year.
  • Low Range – for those making $30,000 to $50,000 per year
  • Mid-Range – for those who make $50,000 to $70,000 per year
  • Maximum in the range – for those who make more than $70,000 per year


The course will be offered Monday evenings from 7:00 – 9:00 pm EDT beginning August 10th and finishing August 31st, 2020. Each class recording will be posted online within 48 hours and will remain online for those who may wish to take the course on their own. Participants should expect to spend a minimum of one hour per week on homework assignments. 


Note to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC): This course is likely to cover material that has been your lived experience, and you may find it both tedious and difficult as others wrestle with these questions. You are welcome to participate, but should do so with the understanding that it is likely to require patience and even emotional or intellectual labor on your part as you engage with white people who feel called to take responsibility for learning and dismantling a culture of white supremacy and systems of racism. In recognition that you are likely to be “teacher” as much as “learner” in this 101 level class, feel free to register at no cost to you. 


This course or demonstrated mastery of the material it covers will be a pre-requisite for most other Matthew 25 courses.


Expected Competency


At the end of this course, participants who are new to a structural analysis of the impact of racism and systems of white supremacy will have a foundational understanding of the dynamics of racism, the way those dynamics are playing out in 2020, and the labor being done in the Presbyterian Church (USA) to take responsibility for and dismantle systems of white supremacy. White participants will have a basic understanding of the language of the movement, know how to identify and avoid micro-aggression against Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), understand the basics of what it means to be an ally to BIPOC, and be practiced at responding non-defensively to critique of their own behavior and of systems of white privilege and supremacy. 


Course Outline


1. The first week will focus on the idea of whiteness and give a brief historical overview of the history of white supremacy in the United States and the social construction of race. It will include a primer on appropriate language for engaging anti-racism work. (Troubling the Waters: Episode 2, Content Provider – Alison Wood)


2. The second week will provide a basic framework for understanding what it means to be “centered” or “decentered” in the dominant culture. (Content Provider: Jessica Vasquez-Torrez)


3. The third week will cover the work of the recent task forces on racism of the PCUSA, with a focus on the work of the Task Force on Black Women and Girls and the Special Commission on Racism, Truth and Reconciliation that are currently at work. (Content Providers to be determined)


4. The fourth week will focus on concrete next steps that participants can take. Depending on the make-up of course participants, much of this class may be carried out in BIPOC and White affinity groups. (Content Provider: Alison Wood)

Registrations are unavailable at this time. Please visit again!