This Teach-In Series equips folks with the tools to begin engaging the difficult work of uncovering systems of power, domination, and oppression at work within us all. In our three-part series, we address the ways in which systemic racism and white supremacy function, how to address internalized dominance and white fragility, and how to take action in our congregations and communities to decenter whiteness and integrate racial justice tactics in our ministries.
Part 2 will:
Define white fragility and identify how it shows up in conversations about racial justice
Look at how white fragility can be triggered even when we aren’t discussing race
Discuss ways to engage our own fragility and that of the people with whom we are working
Series Trainer: Jessica Vazquez Torres (she/her/hers)
We are delighted to have Jessica Vazquez Torres as our series trainer throughout this conversation. Jessica is the National Program Coordinator for Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training.A native of Puerto Rico, Jessica identifies as a “1.5 generation Queer ESL Latina of Puerto Rican descent.” From 1999 until the Spring of 2006 Jessica worked in the Office of [Racial] Reconciliation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indianapolis, IN. From 2006 to 2008 she worked as National Religious Outreach Coordinator with Interfaith Worker Justice, and from 2008 to 2010 as Director of Master Level Recruitment and Admissions at McCormick Theological Seminary (both in Chicago, IL). Currently, Jessica is working on a Masters of Theological Studies at the Chandler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. When not studying she works as a consultant and core/organizer trainer for Crossroads. Rev. Vazquez Torres holds a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL and a Masters of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN.
Co-Trainer: Rev. Alex Patchin McNeill (he/him/his)
Alex has served as the Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians since 2013 and was the first openly transgender man ordained as a Minster of the Word and Sacrament in the PC (USA). During his tenure at More Light, he has equipped congregations to live into policy change for inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people and has successfully enacted policies for marriage equality in the Presbyterian Church, USA. Under his leadership, More Light now serves as a capacity-building organization, equipping congregations to work intersectionally on justice issues. As a trained professional coach through the International Coaching Federation, Alex brings a coaching approach to his work with church leaders and congregations seeking to follow God’s call to widen their welcome, increase church vitality, or develop and implement new programs. In addition, he coaches leaders taking a leap of faith to launch a new project, stepping into a leadership role, or discerning a new calling.
As an openly transgender man with a wealth of experience both professionally and personally, he is a sought-after trainer and facilitator of workshops on gender identity and sexual orientation. He has over a decade of experience training hundreds of community leaders, and has played key roles organizing faith communities for marriage equality in Maryland and legislation to promote LGBTQIA+ rights. Alex holds a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He currently lives in Asheville, NC.
Co-Trainer: Rev. Mamie Broadhurst (she/her/hers)
Rev. Mamie Broadhurst is the pastor at Covenant Community Church in Louisville, KY. Rev. Broadhurst was a PC(USA) mission co-worker who served in the Presbyterian Church of Colombia as a Pastoral Accompanier for Human Rights and Displaced People. Mamie is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and McCormick Seminary.