Winter 2021: Confronting Racism

This Winter 2021 series was based on two source books:

Jesus and The Disinherited by Howard Thurman, and

How To Be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

Click here to read an overview article announcing this
series in Santa Barbara Voice Magazine.

WEEK 1: Jan. 14Jesus and the Disinherited (Foreword, Chapters 1 and 2)
Rev. Dr. David Moore
Pastor of New Covenant Worship Center, ecumenical teacher and author,
speaking on Liberation, and Music in the African American Tradition
(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine)

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DATE: JANUARY 14, 2021 -- WEEK 1
Rev. Dr. David Moore, speaking on
Liberation, and Music in the African American Tradition

PART 1: Introduction by Pat McClure

PART 2: Presentation by Rev. Dr. David Moore

PART 3: Discussion / Question and Answer Session

WEEK 2: Jan. 21 – Introduction/Definitions (Kendi book: Introduction, Ch.1)
Videos featuring Ibram Kendi
Best-selling author, Director of Antiracist Research & Policy Center

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DATE: JANUARY 21, 2021 -- WEEK 2
Videos featuring Ibram Kendi followed by group discussion and responses

PART 1: Introduction by Anne and Tom Heck

PART 2: Sound tracks from Ibram Kendi videos, plus group discussions & responses 

WEEK 3: Jan. 28 – Dueling Consciousness/Power -- (Kendi book: Ch. 2 & 3)
Vashti Tameka Wilson
Diversity and Inclusion Strategist, Co-Founder Madi’s Treasure Box
(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine)

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DATE: JANUARY 28, 2021 -- WEEK 3
Vashti Tameka Wilson speaking on dueling consciousness


PART 1: Presentation by Vashti Tameka Wilson

Please watch "The Look" Video included in Part 1

PART 2: Continuing Presentation by Vashti Tameka Wilson

Please watch Maya Angelou, "We Wear The Mask" -- Video included in Part 2

PART 3: Conclusion of Presentation by Vashti Tameka Wilson


Our apologies: Due to technical difficulties, the question and discussion part of this week's program was not recorded.

WEEK 4: Feb. 4 – Biology/Ethnicity/Body -- (Kendi book: Ch. 4, 5, & 6)
Tracy Macuga
Santa Barbara County Public Defender
(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine)

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DATE: FEBRUARY 4, 2021 -- WEEK 4
Sana Barbara County Public Defender Tracy Macuga, speaking on
Systemic Racism and Injustice in Santa Barbara and in the United States.

TOPIC PREVIEW: TED Talk by Brian Stevenson

PART 1: Introduction by Judith McDermott

PART 2: Presentation by Tracy Macuga

WEEK 5: Feb. 11 – Culture/Behavior -- (Kendi book: Ch. 7 & 8)
Matt Lowe, Restorative Practitioner
(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine

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DATE: FEBRUARY 11, 2021 -- WEEK 5
Matt Lowe, strong>speaking on
the path toward racial healing in the United States

PART 1 -- INTRODUCTION: Michael Dean


PART 2 -- Presentation by Matt Lowe

PART 3 -- Discussion and Questions

WEEK 6: Feb. 18 – Color/White/Black -- (Kendi book: Ch. 9, 10, & 11)
Leslye Colvin
Member of R. Rohr’s Living School, author, contemplative activist and leader
(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine

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DATE: FEBRUARY 18, 2021 -- WEEK 6 
Leslye Colvin speaking on Color/Black/White



PART 2: Presentation by Leslye Colvin

PART 3: Questions and Discussion


WEEK 7: Feb. 25 – Class/Space (Kendi book: Ch. 12 & 13)
James Joyce III
Founder/Chief Visionary Officer of Coffee with a Black Guy

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DATE: FEBRUARY 25, 2021 -- WEEK 7
James Joyce III, speaking on
Class and Space in the Black Experience

PART 1 -- INTRODUCTION:   Anna Grotenhuis


PART 2 -- Presentation by James Joyce III 

PART 3 -- Discussion and Questions

WEEK 8: Mar. 4 – Gender/Sexuality -- (Kendi book: Ch. 14 & 15)
Rev. Chris Brown
Pastor of Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang
(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine)

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DATE: MARCH 4, 2021 -- WEEK 8 
Rev. Chris Brown, speaking on
Gender and Sexuality



PART 2 -- Presentation by Rev. Chris Brown 

PART 3 -- Discussion and Questions

WEEK 9: Mar. 11 – Failure/Success/Survival -- (Kendi book: Ch. 16, 17, & 18)
Focus on Rev. Howard Thurman, theologian, poet, mystic
PBS Documentary Backs Against the Wall:The Howard Thurman Story

DATE: MARCH 11, 2021 -- WEEK 9 
Four Videos about Rev. Howard Thurman




From the Museum of the African Diaspora

WEEK 10: Mar. 18 – Jesus and the Disinherited -- (Ch. 3, 4, 5, & Epilogue)
Fr. Jim Clarke
Conference Speaker, Loyola Marymount Faculty, spiritual director

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DATE: MARCH 18, 2021 -- WEEK 10 
Fr. Jim Clarke, speaking on
spiritual resources for overcoming racism and building a more just society

PART 1 -- Introduction by Joe Schneider


PART 2 -- Presentation by Fr. Jim Clarke 

PART 3 -- Discussion and Questions


The focus of Word and Life’s Winter series is Anti-Racism.

Anti-Racism is a transformative concept that reorients and re-energizes the conversation about racism – and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. We’ve selected two seminal books on the subject which will provide the foundation to study and discuss this vital issue: Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited and Ibram X. Kendi’s How To Be An Anti-Racist. The two authors and their books will speak to the inner, spiritual work and the outer, action-based mission to – in the words of Ibram Kendi – “identify, describe, and dismantle the ideas and practice of racism” wherever we find it.

Howard Thurman’s small book was the theological basis of much of Martin Luther King Jr’s work for Civil Rights. He carried a copy of Jesus and The Disinherited in his briefcase. It will “bookend” our series this winter – grounding and concluding our explorations with Jesus’ teaching and its meaning for the cultural crisis of today.

We think of Thurman’s powerful book as the ‘Word’ and Ibram Kendi’s breakthrough book as the ‘Life’ in our Winter course. Putting our faith and belief into the real-time practice of becoming aware of our habits and defenses to the restorative work of anti-racism is what Ibram Kendi’s life story calls us to do.

One of our speakers, Matt Lowe, puts it this way: “to imagine this new world requires deep spiritual action and practice; just as walking the path of healing through the truth and reconciliation process does”. Our intent and hope is to do this by asking ourselves how our actions will affect the coming generations and by becoming part of the solution to racial division in our own communities.

Click here to read overview article announcing series in Santa Barbara Voice Magazine.

The source books are the foundation of the course. We hope you’ll
have them in hand, the chapters read, and ready to join us in
exploring their vital wisdom for the ten weeks of the series,
beginning on January 14, 2021.

S P E A K E R....B I O G R A P H I E S

1. The Rev. Dr. David Moore Jr. is a pastor and ecumenical teacher and author. He grew up in a career Navy family whose legacy was to make him feel at home with people of many backgrounds. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara with the aspiration of working in television news, but was led, instead, by a strong calling to biblical scholarship and teaching and an internship with the Church of God in Christ in Santa Barbara. At age 27 he was appointed to be pastor of The New Covenant Worship Center in SB. In another 10 years he was asked to expand his pastoral leadership to include a second church – this one in Oxnard, The Church For The Nations.

Meanwhile he earned a Master’s degree from St. Stephen’s University in New Brunswick, Canada, and currently holds an appointment to adjunct faculty there, teaching Ancient Mediterranean History. He earned his Theology doctorate in 2014 from the University of South Africa.

David and his wife, Diane, have been married for 38 years and have 5 adult children. His book, Making America Great Again: Fairy Tale? Horror Story? Dream Come True? was published in 2016

(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine)


2. Ibram X Kendi (author of our source book: How Go Be An Anti-Racist)
is a National Book Award-winning historian and #1 New York Times bestselling author. Kendi is a contributor at The Atlantic and CBS News. He is the author of The Black Campus Movement, which won the W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize, and Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, which won the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction. At 34 years old, he was the youngest ever winner of the NBA for Nonfiction.

Kendi has published numerous essays in academic journals and periodicals, including The Journal of African American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Black Studies, The New York Times, The Guardian, Time, and The Washington Post. He has received research fellowships, grants, and visiting appointments from a variety of universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries, including the American Historical Association, Library of Congress, National Academy of Education, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Brown University, Princeton University, UCLA, Harvard University, and Duke University. In 2019, Kendi was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and honored on The Root 100, listed as the 15th most influential African American between the ages of 25 and 45 and the most influential college professor.

In 2019, Kendi’s third book, How to Be an Antiracist, was a New York Times bestseller and was hailed by the New York Times as “the most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.” It has been named to several Best Books of 2019 lists, including in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time, and NPR. His latest book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, a young adult version of Stamped from the Beginning co-authored with Jason Reynolds, debuted #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in March. His next monograph is tentatively titled, Bones of Inequity: A Narrative History of Racist Policies in America.

3. Vashti Tamika Wilson  is a Diversity And Inclusion Strategist, co-founder of the non-profit “Madi’s Treasure Box Incorporated”,  owner of a successful STEM company, and proud mother of a precocious 8 year old.

An Air Force Veteran (Cryptologic Linguist) and former Math & Science teacher, Vashti also holds a MBA (Master of Business Administration), an M.S. in Data Science, and a B.S. degree in Integrated Marketing Communications.   

As a serial entrepreneur, Vashti has received numerous awards for her innovative inventions, and is the former host of the PBS venture capital show Brand New.   

She has been featured on Cuomo Prime Time, The Kelly Clarkson show, NBC Evening News, USA Today, The Today Show, NPR Santa Barbara and the Washington Post. In Vashti’s spare time, she enjoys reading great literature, fishing, Sudoku, and winning at Scrabble.

(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine)

4. Traci Macuga took over the SB County Public Defender’s office last October. Originally from Chicago’s South Side, she is one of five children. After college, she moved west to attend California Western School of Law in San Diego where she planned to go into civil business law. But the job she found was at the Public Defender’s Office - where her love of people and her respect for the law all came together. She later married Laura Shawver who works with Silverback Therapeutics, a Biotechnology Company.

By nature, public defenders have a tough assignment. While private defense attorneys get to pick and choose their cases, public defenders are assigned to represent everyone in need of their assistance. Macuga is seen as an innovator who brings 24 years of experience from posts in San Diego and Riverside that is already resulting in some concrete changes in old ways of doing things in Santa Barbara. Attorneys here talk about a newfound respect between the Public Defender’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office since Macuga came onboard. That congeniality is a good omen for 2021 in Santa Barbara.

(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine)

5. Matt Lowe is a Restorative Practitioner – a trained professional who fosters the understanding and skills that can rebuild a compassionate, relationship-centered culture. His broad perspective has been formed by a BA in Black Studies and History, an MA in Urban Studies and a deep love for the City of Oakland. Today Matt finds himself at the crossroads of building a new world using the framework of truth and reconciliation commissions AND faith-based community development.

He believes that walking the restorative path means to also walk the racial justice path. He speaks of healing the embedded social wounds of our community (many of which have been left by our faith communities) as a way of re-discovering ourselves as we seek to find and understand the wounds of others that need to be healed.

Matt is blind and has come to see the intersection of racism and antiracism in a way that encourages us to follow a more engaged and restorative way of moving through the world.

He refers to Christian scripture guiding him to “walk by faith, not by sight”.

(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine

6. Leslye Colvin  is a writer, contemplative activist and social commentator. She is widely experienced in promoting mission and expanding outreach of a variety of sectors – including: faith-based non profit, government, corporate, and academia. Inspired by the Catholic social justice tradition, she is passionate about encouraging diversity of thought - especially as it relates to those often marginalized within the community.

Her essay, “Life, Freedom and Dignity: Reflections of a Black American Catholic”, is included in The Catholic Women Speak Network, whose Visions and Vocations were published by Paulist Press on the occasion of the 2018 Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.  She has been interviewed on the construct of race by America Magazine, Radio Veritas, and Vatican Radio. Her blog, Leslye’s Labyrinth features writings from her African-American Catholic heart.

Leslye is a graduate of Richard Rohr’s Living School for Action and Contemplation. She holds an M.A. in Communication from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and an undergraduate degree from Xavier University.

(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine)

7. James Joyce III is a social entrepreneur. Before coming to Santa Barbara, he was a journalist in several diverse communities across the country, covering various subjects from education to crime, local politics, features, and more. When he moved to Santa Barbara, to serve as the District Director for State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, his leadership roles quickly expanded: serving on advisory boards, Impact Hub, the Ventura County Leadership Academy, and the SB Young Black Professionals.

James also serves on the board for the Lois & Walter Capps Project and the national Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), where he helped found the collegiate chapter while a student-athlete at Ohio University.

In 2016, he launched Coffee with a Black Guy, where he hosts interactive conversations about issues from a black man's perspective. The conversation launched a movement that aims to engage in uncomfortable conversations about race with a perspective towards genuine community building. For these efforts and more, the Ventura County branch of the NAACP awarded James with their 2018 Distinguished Citizen Award.

8. Rev. Chris Brown is pastor of Bethania Lutheran Church in Solvang (  Pastor Chris is a Southern California native, growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. He moved to Chicago to earn his Masters Degree in Divinity at the Lutheran School of Theology, graduating in 2014. He and his wife, Livier, moved from Chicago to Solvang when he was called as the new pastor of Bethania Church. 

Pastor Chris loves the roots of Bethania and the Danish heritage that this church carries with it. He also has a passion for reaching out to unchurched and post-modern folks to try and create spaces that are more authentic to their spiritual experiences. With his passion for ministry, commitment to social justice, and emphasis on community, the religious traditions that continue to live on are able to meet with the journey forward into a world that is seeking new meaning in what it is to be the Church today.

(Click here to read Summary Article from Santa Barbara Voice Magazine)

9. PBS Documentary Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story

10. Fr. Jim Clarke  With an extensive academic background in the fields of spirituality, adult education, counseling, ritual and depth psychology, Fr Jim Clarke currently serves as Coordinator of Spiritual Formation for the Permanent Diaconate Office for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He is a Senior Lecturer of Spiritual Theology at Loyola Marymount University and also an Associate Spiritual Director at the Cardinal Manning House of Prayer for Priests.

Fr. Jim’s books and CD series serve to enhance his continuing public ministry of retreats, workshops, and conferences throughout the United States for priests, women religious, seminarians, parish and school staffs as well as parishes at large. His newest book is: Here Comes Life! A Guide to Wholeness and Happiness.

For many years, Fr. Jim has acted as a wise observer of each of our Word and Life series and stepped forward in our final week to weave the multiple threads of big ideas, discovery, and controversy from 9 weeks of rigorous exploration into a presentation that gathers it all into spiritual meaning and practice that we can put to use in our own lives and the world around us.