North Carolina Region,
Since August 2017, the Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation (ARPR) Commission of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina has offered Racial Equity Training for Clergy and Church Leaders in fulfilling the requirement for racial equity training set forth in Resolution I passed at the 2016 Regional Assembly held in Greenville, NC.
Over the course of three years, our Racial Equity Training has been faithful and effective in garnering the attention of other states and regions across the nation including South Carolina and Texas. Our training model is a sixteen-hour in-person process over the course of two days. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the ARPR Commission was forced to cancel the Spring 2020 training as well as limit the platform capacity of our Fall 2020 training.
As the pandemic continues to dictate the necessity for limited travel, limited capacity, and health/safety protocols, the NC Commission, the Regional Minister, and our trainers also continue to engage in thoughtful dialogue, finding creative ways of fulfilling the Racial Equity Training requirements for NC clergy.
In a pre-pandemic world, we strived to offer a high-quality, interactive journey filled with biblical and historical content that offers clarity, sensitivity, and self-discovery as it relates to race. This model has been effective and impactful in which attendees have emerged armed with a common language, historical accuracy, better listening techniques, and the importance of sharing of our stories! In a pandemic society, the challenge consists of turning the current model into an online training model inclusive of a series of self-paced lessons through an e-learning platform and scheduled zoom sessions.
While the process and content of the training are the same as our in-person, two-day workshop, the format, delivery, and length will be different. Participants will have approximately two weeks to complete self-paced lessons. At the conclusion of two weeks, all lessons must be completed as participants enter a series of zoom sessions. Five scheduled zoom sessions will be two to three hours in length, including Thursday evening, Friday morning/afternoon, and Saturday morning/afternoon. Our goal is to refrain from an eight-hour-long zoom meeting while including as much interaction as possible through the best practices of online continuing education.
We believe that many clergies and church leaders will enjoy this online option while others prefer the in-person model. At this time, we are scheduling only one online training in order to be both flexible and purposeful as our society moves through the pandemic in 2021. We encourage all clergy who have not yet completed the required Racial Equity Training to register for the online training as soon as possible as participation is limited to forty (40) participants.
Grace & Peace to you,
Bishop Valerie Melvin, Regional Minister, NC
Rev. Dr. Jackie McHenry, Chair, ARPR Commission
Rev. Jason Williams, Vice-Chair, ARPR Commission