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Racial Justice Team

In order to better reflect the love of Christ for all people, and to affirm the beauty of the entire kingdom of God, the Racial Justice Team will guide the congregation in its ongoing journey of learning about and understanding racism, build bridges that will help create racial unity in this community, and identify ways that we can take action to effect change.

Racial Justice Team: Jeff Bouman, Abigail Bruins, Alex Comben, Lindsey Comben, Bob Dekker (Council liaison), Jerry Fondse, Dan Hawkins, Dawn Hendriksen, Rhonda Lubberts, Mary Jane Pories, Marlyce Snyder, Jodi Van Wingerden, Nancy Van Winkle

Congregational Involvement


We encourage the entire congregation to read and join in a discussion of Debby Irving’s Waking up White. Thirty copies are available for checkout in the library. 


"Race: The Power of an Illusion" is a documentary that was shown in Adult Education. Copies are available in the library.


CORR Training addresses the following goals in a 2.5 day workshop:

  • To see and learn about racism in a new and redemptive way.
  • To gain insights into systemic racism through the eyes of faith and Scripture.
  • To see more of the connections between history and contemporary race relations.
  • To identify organizing opportunities to "eliminate racism, both causes and effects, within the body of believers and throughout the world."

Upcoming CORR training dates are available at

Recommended Resources:

Organizations & Websites

Congregations Organizing for Racial Reconciliation (CORR):

Grand Rapids organization that offers workshops and other resources.

CRCNA Office of Race Relations

A resource for churches in our denomination.

Reformed African American Network (RAAN)

Resources and contemporary theological thought from a Reformed perspective and a diverse network.

Sisters Who Lead

Two West Michigan women who produced the research report titled "Invisible Walls, Ceilings, and Floors: Championing the Voices and Inclusion of Female Leaders of Color in West Michigan."


"Five Feet Four inches in the Fight for Freedom: Faith, Justice, and the Civil Rights Movement through the Life of Fannie Lou Hamer" (Jemar Tisby, founder of RAAN, at the 2017 Legacy Conference in Chicago)

Pass the Mic: Live

"'Dynamic voices for a diverse church'... Pass the Mic is the premier podcast of the Reformed African American Network."

Truth's Table (Michelle Higgins, Christina Edmondson, and Ekemini Uwan)

"We are Black Christian women who love truth and seek it out wherever it leads us. We will share our perspectives on race, politics, gender, current events, and pop culture that are filtered through our Christian faith."


The Atlantic, "A Conservative Christian Battle Over Gender" (article featuring the women of the Truth's Table podcast; describes the unique experience of black women in the church)

Biologos, “One Human Family,” by Deborah Haarsma (Feb. 7, 2018: “The Bible proclaims the equal standing of “every tribe and language and people and nation” before God's throne (Rev 7:9). Yet divisions of tribe, culture, and race are fissures, even chasms, in our world today. Sadly, science has been misused to deepen those chasms.”)

Christianity Today, The Calling, Episode 13, "It's Never Too Soon to Talk about Race in Your Church" (interview with Jemar Tisby, founder of Reformed African American Network)

Rapid Growth Media, "Facing racism: The lasting effects of discrimination in GR's southeast community"'s+southeast+community&utm_content=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Facing+racism:+The+lasting+effects+of+discrimination+in+Grand+Rapids'+southeast+community;+plus,+Etsy+co-founder+talks+business+with+a+heart,+the+coolest+trails+you've+never+heard+of+in+West+Michigan+

Rapid Growth Media, "No more 'West Michigan nice': It's time to talk about race, gender & leadership in the workplace" (article about the work of the two Women of "Sisters Who Lead")

Rapid Growth Media, "Racial profiling in Grand Rapids: How the city is tackling major changes in law enforcement"


Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why it's so hard for white people to talk about racism (Beacon Press, 2018)

Debby Irving, Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race (Elephant Room Press, 2014)

Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or community (1967, 2010)

Todd E. Robinson, A City within a City: The Black Freedom Struggle in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Temple University Press, 2012)

Jim Wallis, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America (Brazos Press, reprint edition 2017)

Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (Harper Perennial Modern Classics, reissue edition, 2015)


Tell Them We Are Rising

Other Resources

Self-guided walking tour of black history in Downtown Grand Rapids:

Interactive map showing the effects of redlining in Grand Rapids:

Ten Ways to Fight Hate" (from the Southern Poverty Law Center)