racial-justice-movement

-A Movement-

A Lovingly Distinctive Approach to the Elimination of Racism:

Fostering a Moral and Spiritual Change in Individual Hearts.

PRJ’s ‘Diverse Communities Racial Justice Collaborations’ (DCRJC) is an arts and interactive conversation based initiative, bringing together in safe spaces, diverse community members from a wide array of backgrounds, who desire to see themselves as cycle-breaking agents of change, standing in love against the rapidly expanding division of America.

Participants engage in PRJ designed programs with the intention of building trust, 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 programs are rooted in the Writings and guidances of the Baha’i Faith as well as other Faith traditions and secular expressions that are consonant with the call of the age – the oneness of mankind.

The initiative began with two separate cross-church relationships in Chatham County, North Carolina in May, 2023 each with predominately Black and predominately White congregants and leadership participating. 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.  Enthusiastic confirmations for this distinctive, uplifting approach to race relations was demonstrated initially in the gratitude expressed by the pastors 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”! 

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 will still be deeply engaged as 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. Among other possibilities, potential collaborators can include members of every faith community, local arts community, 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.

PRJ is developing tools for upscaling the DCRJC initiative including training programs that will soon be added to our myriad of monthly virtual programs. PRJ envisions the creation of chapters in other locations and intends to inspire and provide tools for  grassroots co-creation. There are a host of activities beyond the core monthly gatherings in which our 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.

A WORD ABOUT YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS:

While everyone will be encouraged and welcomed to the DCRJC experience, PRJ’s most important target demographics are threefold — African Americans, Indigenous Americans and youth and young adults of all backgrounds, the latter being our most elusive target demographic. As  we expand our reach 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 DCRJC format. Developing stories of heroism where 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 musical presentations, 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 music and the dramatic arts will be a natural resource.

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Please reach out to us with any questions, ideas, or collaborative inquiries using this contact form. Or, reach out to us directly using our email address below. Please let us know if you’d like us to be in contact with ways in which you can become a partner in racial justice.

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