The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Parish Initiatives

  1. St. Paul's on the Green in Norwalk, "Race & Social Justice Coalition" - by Bob Giolitto on behalf of the Coalition, 2/4/19

We are the Race & Social Justice Coalition of St. Paul’s on The Green, Norwalk. We are excited about ECCT’s Season of Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation. In your letter to the parishes, you asked us for feedback on what we are doing.

Our Race & Social Justice Coalition (recently named) began two years ago during Advent as a discussion of Kelly Brown Douglas’s book Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God. We meet every Wednesday night at 7:00 PM at St. Paul’s, and our doors are open to anyone who wants to join us. We regularly have fifteen to twenty-five participants. At the end of Advent, Dean Douglas came to St. Paul’s, gave a talk, and led us in discussion. We then said, “What’s next?” Led by our Assistant Rector, Peter Thompson, we decided to read and discuss Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between The World and Me. Fourteen books, one TV series, two movies, and three speakers later, we have embarked on a mission to go beyond our walls.

We have contacted various churches and faith groups, civic organizations, schools, and anti-racist movements. This past Sunday we hosted Let Justice Roll! Exploring Race Through Story & Song at St. Paul’s. Mark Miller, a musician, composer, and person of faith committed to social change, who teaches and leads music at Yale and Drew Universities, led our combined choirs, interspersed with readings from the books we’ve covered and reflections from members of our group. Our church was filled; about one quarter of those attending were visitors to St. Paul’s. The one and a half hours went by fast, and a reception was held in our church hall after. People who attended were “blown away.

We are now planning various forms of action within our community, based on the fourteen-point guideline in the last chapter of the Reverend William Barber’s The Third Reconstruction.We are researching, connecting, and forming plans. The book we are currently reading and discussing is Waking Up White by Debby Irving.

(works previously studied by the Race & Social Justice Coalition)

  • Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God by Kelly Brown Douglas
  • Fear of the Other: No Fear in Love by William Willimon
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
  • Born of Conviction: White Methodists and Mississippi’s Closed Society by Joseph Reiff
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir by J.D. Vance
  • A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History by Jeanne Theoharis
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear,  by William Barber
  • No Innocent Bystanders: Becoming an Ally in the Struggle for Justice,  by Shannon Craigo-Snell and Christopher Doucot
  • I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
  • Waking Up White, by Debby Irving
  • The 13th (film)
  • Dear White People (TV show)