Christ UMC is dedicated to making a difference in our community. We strive for social justice through all our works. That being said, we acknowledge social justice is a complex issue, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. We hope you can utilize some of the resources below to help understand the best ways in which we are able to share the radical love of Jesus in all aspects of life. Click on the photos to explore each topic, and if you think of a resource that is helpful, don’t hesitate to let us know!
The Toolkit is a compilation of articles, guides, news, videos, social media, and other tools from several online sources on racial justice and Black Lives Matter activism. The site is a work in progress with ongoing updates and contributions to each section. The Toolkit is an online social justice resource rooted in a commitment to radical love and service to the Rochester, MN community.
You may want to listen to the most popular podcast of all time, “Serial“. This podcast series has had over 250 million downloads!
Season three is focused on the American criminal justice system. Given the season’s focus on the American criminal justice system writ large, race is everywhere, even when it isn’t. We’re told at the outset that the Justice Center is socially structured with deep racialized power; that is, the people running the system tend to be white, and the people being subjected to the system tend to be disproportionately black. There’s a particularly memorable sequence in the episode’s introductory stages during a brief scene in an elevator that squeezes those two layers against each other; separate but equal, ample wariness in-between. In the white woman’s story that centers the first episode, you’re clearly made to see what her whiteness affords her and, conversely, what it doesn’t.
Netflix Documentary - 13th
Netflix has a documentary entitled “13th”. Which is and in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nations history of racial inequality. The 13th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution abolished slavery. But it also included a provision many people don't know about and that is what this documentary brings to view. "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist." That exception justifies the use of forced labor as long as the laborer is a convict. This documentary makes the case that inclusion of this loophole is only one of the justifications for continuing domination of people of color. The 13th Amendment was ratified in 1865 and director Ava DuVernay supports her thesis through the use of both historical footage and interviews. Film clips of former President Richard Nixon call for 'Law & Order' which has resulted in exploding prison populations. The U. S. only has 5% of the world's population but has 25% of the world's prisoners. This Law & Order policy enabled government to imprison blacks. John Ehrlichman was Assistant to President Nixon for Domestic Affairs: "Did we know we were lying? Of course we did." The documentary makes the case that those drug busts, Jim Crow laws and segregation are all variations of domination of black America. Currently the 'Prison/Industrial Complex' is just a new version of the same old problem. Here DuVernay returns to the 13th Amendment and makes the case that the system cannot be dealt with by making small changes. The system itself has to be rebuilt.
Criminal (In)justice - "Sometimes challenging, often disturbing, occasionally absurd, always timely: Criminal Injustice explores the most complex and urgent issues facing the U.S. criminal justice system in conversation with the field's most knowledgeable experts.
Professor David Harris and guests take on everything from racial bias to use of force...from surveillance technology to mass incarceration...and from police abuse and misconduct to the astonishing, frequently hilarious misdeeds of "Lawyers Behaving Badly."
It's not a lecture hall, and you don't need a law degree to keep up. But you'll walk away from each episode with a deeper, richer understanding of what's wrong with the criminal justice system - and how to fix it.
Justice in America - "a podcast for everyone interested in criminal justice reform - from those new to the system to experts who want to know more. Each episode we cover a new criminal justice issue. We explain how it works and look at its impact on people, particularly poor people and people of color. We'll also interview activists, practitioners, experts, journalists, organizers, and others, to learn. By the end of the episode, you'll walk away with a better understanding of what drives mass incarceration and what can fix it.
The first season will cover bail, plea deals, prosecutors, prosecutor elections, voter disenfranchisement, immigration, women, and families in the criminal justice system, and more. It will feature interviews with Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rashad Robinson, John Legend, Gina Clayton, John Pfaff, and more.