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Racial Justice Stewards

March 18, 2021

This Spring, Macalester Plymouth United Church will begin training Racial Justice Stewards. We will work with Marie Michael and Scott Flemming from AMS Consulting, a Twin Cities-based consulting firm that works with organizations surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion, to tailor this training to our unique steward team, help better connect and align our church’s racial justice efforts, and bring embodied equity experiences to the larger congregation on a regular basis.

We are seeking up to 20 members of our congregation who are involved in different aspects of church life to engage in embodied equity training, and commit to continuing this work over the next five years with our church and wider community. This team will come together to develop a shared language and approach to embodying equity, grounded in practice and in faith, that will define and guide equity and justice work at MacPlymouth moving forward.

What is embodied equity?

Embodied equity is being in the daily practice of living and acting in ways that are equitable: Rather than talking about it and aspiring towards it, the way you talk and interact with others illustrates equity. The policies and practices of the church ARE equitable.

How do we achieve embodied equity?

Our trainers will introduce us to somatics. Somatic awareness and practice allows us to notice how we actually show up, and what our default reactions are in different moments. We can, then, consider if those actions are equitable and if they are effective in creating an inclusive environment. And if not, we can practice actions that are: learning to shift our behavior and respond out of our best selves, rather than reacting out of stress or habit in ways that don’t serve us. Over time, this allows us to live (embody/be) equity rather than just talk about it.

What is the commitment of a Racial Justice Steward?

Ongoing Development. The Racial Justice Stewards will commit to embodying equity in their lives and work–meaning that they have taken or will take the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment; they are actively working on their own intercultural competence development plan; and they are willing to put in the extra work to practice into embodying equity both individually and collectively. 

Group members will commit to participating in three three-hour training sessions:

Saturday, May 15, 2021, 9am-12pm

Saturday, June 12, 2021, 9am-12pm

Saturday, August 21, 2021, 9am-12pm 

Church Leadership. Stewards will also commit to playing an active role in designing, doing, and reflecting on two equity-centered events at the congregation level, scheduled in October 2021 and January 2022.

Finally, this group will commit to ongoing embodied equity work within the church for the next 5-years. 

What other racial equity and justice opportunities will I have if I cannot commit to being a Racial Justice Steward?

MacPlymouth members and leadership currently host many opportunities for members to deepen their commitment to and understanding of racial equity and justice. Examples of this include Mission and Social Justice, ISAIAH Work, Sanctuary work, refugee support, various small groups and bible studies, and Intercultural Development Inventory work. We will continue to offer, expand upon, and work to unite these opportunities within our developing embodied equity framework.

We will offer churchwide equity-centered events in October 2021 and January 2022 , which will be guided by AMS and the Racial Justice Stewards. Finally, we anticipate over the next 5 years that our racial equity and justice work will continue to deepen and grow, and opportunities will continue to emerge. 

What is the cost of becoming a Racial Justice Steward? 

Thanks to a very generous bequest from Joe Peacock, the church is prepared and committed to pay at least 50% of the cost of this training. In order to ensure sustained commitment and support this training, MPUC suggests a pay-what-you-can sliding fee scale at 3 tier levels, based on The Green Bottle Sliding Scale tool for economic justice.

Payment Tier Suggestions*

Tier 1Tier 2Tier 3
$325-$450+$25-$150+ toward someone else’s training$150-$30050-100% of training cost (after church investment)$75-$10025-33% of training cost (after church investment)
I …have a strong support system am comfortably able to meet all of my basic needs**. may have some debt but it does not prohibit me from attaining my basic needs. own my home or property OR I rent a higher-end property. own or lease a car. am employed or do not need to work to meet my needs. have regular access to healthcare. have access to financial savings. have an expendable*** income. can always buy new items. can afford an annual vacation or take time off.I …have a few key people in my life who help support me may stress about meeting my basic needs but still regularly achieve them. may have some debt but it does not prohibit me from attaining my basic needs. own or lease a car. am employed. have access to healthcare. have access to financial savings. have some expendable income. am able to buy some new items & I thrift others. can take a vacation annually or every few years without financial burden.I …have an inadequate support system frequently stress about meeting basic needs & don’t always achieve them. have debt and it sometimes prohibits me from meeting my basic needs. rent lower-end properties or have unstable housing. do not have a car and/or have limited access to a car but I am not always able to afford gas. am unemployed, underemployed, or on a fixed income. qualify for government assistance including food stamps & healthcare. have no access to savings. have no or very little expendable income. rarely buy new items because I am unable to afford them. cannot afford a vacation or have the ability to take time off without financial burden.
* Payment tiers were inspired by and adapted from the Green Bottle Sliding Scale designed by Alexis J. Cunningfolk at Worts and Cunning.** “basic needs” include food, housing, and transportation.*** “expendable income” might mean you are able to buy coffee at a shop, go to a movie or concert, buy new clothes, books, etc.

How do I apply to be a Racial Justice Steward?** Complete This Form online via Survey Monkey, or print out and complete the PDF and return to Adam Blons at revadamblons@gmail.com. Click here to access the form if you choose to email it.