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Building an Inclusive Congregational Learning Community: Addressing Community & Racial Biases

This congregational learning process is designed to foster an inclusive and equitable learning community. By engaging in critical conversations and self-reflection, congregants can work towards dismantling biases, promoting understanding, and cultivating a more inclusive and just community. Here is an updated step-by-step guide:

1. Assess Congregational Needs and Biases:

Begin by conducting a comprehensive assessment of the learning needs and biases within the congregation, particularly related to race and community dynamics. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or facilitated discussions. Gather data to identify biases, challenges, and aspirations related to building an inclusive community.

2. Form an Inclusive Learning Team:

Establish a diverse and inclusive learning team that reflects the congregation's demographic makeup. Ensure that the team includes individuals who are knowledgeable and experienced in addressing community and racial biases. This team will guide the implementation of the learning process and facilitate ongoing conversations on these sensitive topics.

3. Design an Inclusive Curriculum:

Based on the assessment results and the input of the inclusive learning team, develop a curriculum that explicitly addresses community and racial biases. Incorporate topics such as unconscious bias, privilege, systemic racism, intercultural competency, and social justice. Ensure that the curriculum includes diverse perspectives and is accessible to all members of the congregation.

4. Provide Anti-Bias Education:

Offer educational opportunities that specifically address community and racial biases. These can include workshops, seminars, guest speakers, and resources focused on increasing awareness, promoting empathy, and challenging stereotypes and prejudices. Encourage congregants to examine their own biases and engage in self-reflection.

5. Facilitate Brave and Safe Spaces:

Create brave and safe spaces within the congregation where congregants can engage in honest and respectful dialogue about community and racial biases. Develop guidelines for discussions to ensure that all voices are heard and respected. Encourage active listening, empathy, and open-mindedness. Provide trained facilitators to guide these conversations.

6. Promote Community Engagement:

Encourage congregants to engage with diverse communities outside the congregation. Foster partnerships with organizations and individuals from different racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Encourage participation in community events, service projects, and initiatives aimed at addressing social inequalities. Create opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue and collaboration.

7. Incorporate Racial Justice Advocacy:

Support congregants in becoming advocates for racial justice in their broader communities. Provide resources, training, and opportunities for congregants to engage in activism, policy advocacy, and community organizing efforts. Encourage the sharing of experiences and the celebration of collective achievements.

8. Continuous Learning and Evaluation:

Promote continuous learning and ongoing evaluation of the learning process. Encourage congregants to continue their education beyond the formal curriculum, seeking out additional resources, workshops, and training opportunities. Regularly assess the impact of the learning process on addressing community and racial biases, and make necessary adjustments to the curriculum and approach.


By incorporating a focus on community and racial biases into the congregational learning process, you can create an inclusive and just learning community within your congregation. Through education, dialogue, and intentional action, congregants can work towards dismantling biases, fostering understanding, and actively promoting equity and justice within their community and beyond.

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