Our Programs

Intentional Activities designed to enhance the spirit of oneness

PRJ’s ‘Diverse Communities Racial Justice Collaborations’ (DCRJC) is an arts and interactive conversation based initiative, bringing together multi-racial religious leaders and congregants, together with a growing number of other community members from a wide array of backgrounds, who desire to see themselves as cycle-breaking agents of change. Together, whether in their worship spaces or other venues, participants engage in PRJ-created programs with the intention of connecting hearts, exploring the spiritual nature of our true identity and discovering what we can do to become effective protagonists toward the elimination of racism and othering in America.

The initiative began in Chatham County, North Carolina in May, 2023 with monthly gatherings of predominantly Black and White churches . Over the months PRJ has witnessed a growing desire among participants to engage , not only in the core monthly gatherings, but also in smaller group connections that promote intimate, relationship building activities. Our confirmations regarding enthusiasm for this distinctive, uplifting approach to race relations was demonstrated initially in the gratitude expressed by pastors, one Black and one White, of the initial participating churches. “If we are not doing this work”, Pastor Larry Neal exclaimed in one of the very first gatherings, “then we are not doing God’s work”! A sense of added church relevancy has certainly been felt by all those participating in the initial cross-church collaborations.

As exhilarating as the initiative’s experiences have been to date PRJ now sees the cross-church model as a solid bedrock upon which to expand. While faith communities may well continue to be the foundation upon which the enterprise evolves, we believe that wherever within a given local area, communities of interest are identifiable, there will be individuals who will arise to participate in exercises geared at bridging historically divided peoples. This is especially important in the current moment when new divisions seem to be emerging at an ever quickening pace. Potential collaborators can include various faith communities, law enforcement agencies,universities, high schools, for-profit corporations and like-minded non-profit and civic organizations.

The DCRJC model is a highly interactive one calling upon every collaborator to consider intentional ways to advance the cause of oneness, with each individual focusing on their unique contribution toward the elimination of racism and all other “isms” that “other” and divide.

As we expand our vision beyond the initial participation in cross-church engagement, there are a host of activities beyond the core monthly gatherings in which newly emerging cycle-breaking protagonists might engage. These include, among other activities, inviting family members, friends, co-workers and associates to join in their respective DCRJC program, to reach out to other organizations to join or even to form new chapter programs, to assist with fundraising needs and to volunteer for various support services including inspiring others to volunteer. Such services might include, fund raising, assisting with website and social media content creation and maintenance, promoting DCRJC virtual and local, in-person programs, facilitating or providing technical assistance for programs and so forth.

A WORD ABOUT YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS:

While everyone will be encouraged and welcomed to the DCRJC experience, PRJ’s yet most elusive target demographic are youth and young adults of every background. As we explore expanding to engage a wider circle of collaborators, we believe that one of the strongest means of attracting this critical demographic, will be the arts-based devotional component of the programs. Young collaborators can participate in a ‘dramatic arts-for-social change” program — developing and sharing content for the arts-based devotionals that are already a powerful, integral part of the FCRJC format. Developing stories of heroism where, everyday Black and White activists have worked together, in the pursuit of racial justice will help fuel this arts based component. A growing array of young people developing and sharing short stories, dramatic scenes, spoken word, poetry and musical interpretations would doubtless lead to exciting creative possibilities and outcomes. Engaging community based organizations already promoting the dramatic arts would be a natural resource.

The ‘Diverse Communities Racial Justice Collaborations’ initiative is a powerful and transformative endeavor in alignment with the current Plan from the Universal House of Justice. By drawing on the principles and teachings of the Baha’i writings to engage the wider community, and by fostering grass-roots relationships and plans of action with like-minded individuals and organizations, the initiative strives to accompany participants to identify their individual contribution to the elimination of racism, and to truly experience the world as one human family.

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