SPIRITUAL LIFE COMMITTEE
The Spiritual Life Committee wants to support the GH mission while helping residents understand the current cultural upheavals over racism. Over the next year, the Committee and its Senior Quest for Meaning subcommittee will be offering a number of opportunities to explore the topic of becoming an anti-racist.
THE BEGINNING - TWO PANEL DISCUSSIONS
- The first was developed with CEO Rob Liebreich. The panel consisted of Mr. Liebriech, Ms. Tammy Mann, President/CEO of Campagna Center in Alexandria and member of the GHI Board, and Tony Tambasco, committee chair. Conversation addressed a wide range of topics around the atmosphere here for persons of color, both residents and staff. Mr. Liebreich and Ms. Mann agreed that they would be working on making GH more welcoming for all. Click HERE
- The second was made up of residents Marietta Tanner (who moderated the discussion) and Nancy Randolph and staff members Beth Robinson (Member Services Facilitator with GHAH) and Theresa Thomas (Director of Environmental Services for GHI), and Edrees Bridges (former CPE student). All African American, these panelists discussed their childhood, education, and background, noting the many challenges they faced. They commented on the GH atmosphere, noting that while it is generally hospitable, there were often micro-aggressions. Ms. Thomas shared that some residents have described housekeeping staff members as “my girl.” Dr. Randolph told about how, soon after she moved in, residents would encounter her on an elevator and ask her what her job here was. Click HERE
Note: Neither panel is to be shared outside of Goodwin House.
TRACKING OUR FEELINGS ABOUT ANTI-RACISM
The Spiritual Life Committee offered opportunities for residents again to reflect on and to explore their feelings about anti-racism in the light of the two videos that were shown on Channel 2 and on the resident website: Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes and The Surprising History of Racism in America. Residents were then invited to join a Zoom discussion.
The Committee then showed After Selma: Voter Suppression (HERE), a film dealing with voter suppression following a Supreme Court decision. A recording of the Zoom discussion with the filmmaker Loki Mulholland is available HERE.
Below are lists of information you may find useful as we learn more about systemic racism and consider our own responses.
AS YOU READ AND REFLECT...
- If you are surprised or confused by what you feel or learn, embrace those insights with an open heart. Ask yourself, "What am I able to learn through this?" or "What is my heart telling me?"
- You might feel guilty, discouraged, or angry, if the changes you hope to see in yourself or others are not happening fast enough. Respect yourself and others. Remember we are all learning and growing together, each in our own way.
- Most importantly, remember that this is soul work. Therefore, it can be challenging and heart-breaking, but also inspiring and meaningful. We ask that you remain open to the process and know your community supports you.
Together we can educate, embrace and empower a culture where racism is openly discussed and thoughtfully changed.