Copy
Swedenborgians in Action Against Racism
Hi everyone. This newsletter is for Swedenborgians (and friends) who want to learn how to support anti-racism. But we are not going to pretend that we are experts here; we are learning alongside you. There are lots of activists and educators who have been working in the anti-racism field for a long time. Our plan (in the words of Meera Mohan-Graham) is to Absorb and Amplify those voices, and follow their lead. So, the items in this newsletter are mostly links and excerpts pointing you towards other resources.

As we all strive to learn, change, and act together, we invite you join the Manifold Angels Facebook group for connection throughout the journey. The work is just beginning. 


This is an (approximately) bi-weekly newsletter. One issue per month will be a deep dive into a particular issue (you can find links to these at the end of the newsletter). The alternating issues will be more personal/devotional, aiming to help build stamina and commitment for the ongoing work for racial justice. Thanks for joining us!
SEEK TO UNDERSTAND THIS:
The War On Black Trans Women

Pride Month - it's not just about the rainbows.

International Transgender Day of Remembrance And The Genocide Of Black Transgender Women “There is a genocide against Black transgender women happening. In a world in which transgender people are more visible than ever — gracing red carpets, starring in movies, breaking records in policy and government — Black and brown transgender women are being murdered at alarming rates across the globe. 

According to the Transgender Murder Monitoring November 2021 Report, more than 375 murders of transgender people have been reported globally. And in the United States, more than 45 transgender people have been murdered in 2021 alone, the “deadliest year for transgender people on record." The overwhelming majority of transgender people who have been murdered this year and in years past are Black transgender women under the age of 30 years old.” 

“According to research from the US Trans Survey – Report on the Experiences of Black Respondents: Black transgender people report experiencing the highest levels of discrimination of all transgender people based on the combination of anti-transgender bias with structural and individual racism.” Black Trans Facts 

End The War On Black Trans, Queer, Gender Nonconforming And Intersex People - M4bl “Discrimination, harassment, and violence against Black trans, intersex, queer, and gender nonconforming (LGBTQ+) people pervade virtually every institution and setting, including schools, workplaces, systems of policing, prisons, parole and probation, immigration, health care, and family and juvenile courts. As a result, Black LGBTQ+ people experience high levels of poverty, criminalization, health disparities, and exclusion in the U.S. Black trans women and gender nonconforming people in particular experience some of the highest levels of killings, violence, poverty, policing, criminalization, and incarceration of any group in the U.S.”

THINK ABOUT THIS
“I Just Try to Make It Home Safe”: Violence and the Human Rights of Transgender People in the United States "The violence and discrimination that transgender people experience is deeply intersectional, with different forms of vulnerability shaped by race, gender, class, ability, and nationality, among other factors. In 2020, more than three-quarters of the transgender and non-binary people killed in the United States were people of color, with Black transgender women at particular risk of violence. From 2016 to 2021, at least 88 percent of the transgender people killed in Florida, 91 percent of the transgender people killed in Ohio, and 90 percent of the transgender people killed in Texas were people of color."
SEE THE CONNECTIONS

Black trans women face a unique threat rooted in centuries of history - The Washington Post  “The blackface cross-dressed “wench songs” and the genre’s wider treatment of Black sexuality reinforced a culture that treated race and gender/sexual amalgamation as equal parts bizarre spectacle and threat. With its blacked-up, cross-dressing casts, minstrelsy allowed White men to earn a profit by crossing lines of race and gender while shielding them from the social and legal persecution faced by someone like Jones.

More important, blackface prioritized cis gender White manhood as the standard. Indeed, it depicted the transgression of racial and gender lines as exclusively for White cis gender men. When combined with a dominant culture that rejected cis gender “sodomy,” blackface’s fictional gender transformations made recognition of trans bodies as authentic unthinkable.”

CONSIDER THIS

UK Black Pride's 2022 Pride Month Statement — UKBP "The wellbeing and mental health of LGBTQI+ Black people and people of colour requires urgent attention, the cost of living crisis has increased well-entrenched disparities and pride movements that refuse to acknowledge pride’s intersectional roots continue to advance as a one-dimensional representation of all that’s been achieved. 

Piecemeal progress only works for the few it serves. 

LGBTQI+ communities include a breathtaking diversity of lived experiences and the continued erasure of the ongoing impact of systemic inequalities and injustices does a tremendous disservice to those who live in the shadows cast by Pride Month’s light and those who fought hard for the progress some of us have been able to enjoy. Now, as ever, our pride movements must be undergirded by an intersectional politics that demands the needs of all LGBTQI+ people be met."

GO DEEPER

America's War on Black Trans Women “The inequities and prejudice Black trans women face don’t just take the form of outright violence. A study by the National LGBTQ Task Force indicates that Black trans people have a 26% unemployment rate. That’s twice as high as the unemployment rate for transgender people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, and four times as high as the unemployment rate in the general population. The study also found other shocking disparities; 41% of Black trans people have been homeless (more than five times the general population), 34% of Black trans people have household incomes less than $10,000 (more than eight times the general population), and nearly half of the Black trans population has attempted suicide. Although these statistics apply to the Black trans population in general and not to Black trans women specifically, based on how much more frequently Black trans women are killed, it’s reasonable to assume that they also experience these harms more frequently than other Black trans people.

In short, being a Black trans woman in America means you’re far more likely than most other people to experience serious roadblocks and harms, in the form of everything from extreme poverty to violent murder.”

WATCH THIS

The first Pride was a riot. Let's honor the trans women of color behind it.

The “[...] LGBTQ+ rights movement owes its very being to riots led by people of color. And it's important to honor and remember that now more than ever.

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a meeting place for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. When they demanded to do sex verification checks on trans women, a spontaneous protest broke out, and at the forefront of those protests were trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Pride itself owes its very existence to a riot, and it took radical acts of change to just start the conversation about LGBTQ+ issues in America, a conversation that continues to this day.

Unfortunately, these stories are rarely told on screen, and people enraged by injustice today can't see how similar protests worked more than 50 years ago. However, the Netflix documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson covers the revolutionary life of one of the women integral to Stonewall. It's an excellent starting point for further research.” 

Intersectionality - Community Connections: The LGBTQ Perspectives Project "Kimberlé Crenshaw, Columbia and UCLA law professor, coined the term intersectionality more than three decades ago. In a February 2020 interview with Time magazine, she described intersectionality as “a lens, a prism, for seeing the way in which various forms of inequality often operate together and exacerbate each other.” This week’s episode explores this lens as it applies to the experiences of queer and trans people, particularly people of color and neurodivergent individuals."

What Is Intersectionality? | Queer 101 | The Advocate "The Advocate's Video Producer Ashley Jiang tells us the intricacies of intersectionality."

LGBTQ Intersectionality and Identity "The number of Americans self-identifying as LGBTQ is on the rise. However, sexual orientation and gender identity are just one part of a person’s identity. Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, joins Tetiana Anderson for a discussion about identity, intersectionality, and support for nondiscrimination policies."

I Believe In Black Trans Power "On Sunday, June 14, 2020, something changed in me, in all of us. No longer will we ever doubt whether we are winning or folks are transforming in the ways that we need them to keep us all alive and safe. No longer will we doubt whether it’s possible for the #BlackTransMovement to be elevated and supported. No longer will we doubt #BlackTransPower."

LISTEN TO THIS

Stream Marsha's Plate: Black Trans Podcast music | Listen to songs, albums, playlists for free on SoundCloud "Marsha’s Plate is a lively podcast where three friends come together every Thursday to share opinions and perspectives through a black trans lens."

Podcast — Raquel Willis "BGD Podcast was a podcast all about current events, pop culture and whatever the hell else was happening on social media discussed from a dope intersectional lens. Host Raquel Willis and the illustrious guests of the week used hilarity and insight to give you everything you need."

Black, Trans, and Beautiful “Black, Trans, & Beautiful is a podcast from the Transwoman of Color Perspective.”

Box No. 512 Podcast: Grown Black Trans Women Talk "Join Aeon and The Lioness as they navigate life, love, and work as thriving as thirty-something black trans women in America."

READ THIS

The GOP's Culture War On Critical Race Theory And Trans Kids Target Black, LGBTQ+ People Disproportionately - NBJC  "As we speak, and as the nation begins to recover from the pandemic, wholescale attacks on the LGBTQ+ community are taking place. When examined together, it is clear that Black LBGTQ+/SGL people suffer the most."

Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity a book by C. Riley Snorton "The story of Christine Jorgensen, America's first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Her celebrity, however, has obscured other mid-century trans narratives--ones lived by African Americans such as Lucy Hicks Anderson and James McHarris. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender subjects. In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence."

SUPPORT THIS

 

Black Trans Women Inc  "Black Trans Women, Inc (BTWI) is a national nonprofit organization established to specifically address the urgent concerns facing African American trans women in minority communities.

Since 2012, BTWI has committed to empowerment, providing the trans-feminine community with programs and resources to help inspire individual growth and contributions to the greater good of society to meet its mission of uplifting the voice, heart and soul of black trans women."

All of Me. All the Time. - National LGBTQ Task Force  "Equity for All of Me. All the Time. is a national public education campaign launched by the National LGBTQ Task Force and the National Black Justice Coalition." 

"We are working to fulfill the promise of the legacy of Bayard Rustin and Pauli Murray – two architects of the Civil Rights Movement who were not fully protected by the very laws and legal theories they helped to manifest. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protected them from racial discrimination, but not the lifelong suffering of discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity – some of which happened within the very movements for which they fought for each day. We are fighting so that we don’t see another generation of queer women and people of color who have to avoid discrimination in their daily lives because there is not the legal means to fight against it or the legal pressure for it not to occur in the first place. Let’s remember that we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and are preparing our shoulders for the generations to come." Victoria Kirby York, Campaign Director

National Black Justice Coalition "Since 2003, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) has been America’s leading national civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS through coalition building, federal policy change, research, and education. Our mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ+/SGL bias and stigma. NBJC supports Black individuals, families, and communities in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBTQ+/SGL equity.

We envision a world where all people are fully empowered to participate safely, openly, and honestly in family, faith, and community, regardless of race, class, gender identity, or sexual orientation."

Taking Black Pride "We seek to empower the BIPOC transgender, queer and gender diverse communities to take charge of the ways we own our joy, grief, healing, anger, celebration, pride, expression of culture and community. We create opportunities for our community to collectively and intimately take part in celebration of the complexities of BIPOC QT experiences and culture."

FOR EDUCATORS

Bring BGD To Your College, Conference or Community Event “Race. Gender. Sexuality. (Dis)ability. Age. Education level. Socio-economic status. With all of our differences, how do we build the future we want, together?”

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

QTPOC/QPOC - What is it? What does it mean?  “The term QTPOC and QPOC was developed to discuss the issues trans people of color and queer people of color face in the LGBTQ+ communities. The abbreviation referring to QTPOC means queer people who are not only people of color but also transgender people can feel the issues they face - matter. Queer people of color as well as black trans people of color face issues in queer communities that are different from the issues Caucasian LGBTQ+ people encounter in their daily lives.”

QTPOC Resource Guide 

What The History Of Pride Month Means For Celebrations Today From Stonewall to Black Lives Matter

NEW PROGRAM!

The KnET-Work

Swedenborgians in Action Against Racism has created a new program to encourage and support involvement in local activism. It is called The Knitting Energy Together Work, or The KnET-WorkThe KnET-Work is seeking to spur people on to apply the knowledge and energy we’ve gained through SAAR programming to the next step in the work of antiracism—local activism.

We are encouraging Swedenborgians to join in local antiracism programs and activist groups in their own areas. In so doing, we build solidarity and community with those outside our faith tradition. And more centrally, we channel our faith and energy into actions that better society by fighting against the scourge of racism. The KnET-Work will hold quarterly support meetings for local chapters and individuals to meet with other Swedenborgians across the continent who are likewise participating in local activism. While there is power in numbers, not to mention shared enjoyment, individuals who are unable to work with other Swedenborgians in their area are encouraged to join local activism groups, and then come to The KnET-Work meetings to exchange joys, experiences and encouragements with others, in a word, to knit our energies together for good. We hope to see you there!

 

If you are interested in participating in these support groups, please contact Kent Rogers at krogers@thelordsnewchurch.org

FROM THE SPIRIT

God of LOVE, we thank you for the Spirits who were trailblazers, moving and shaking people’s hearts and minds. Stir up in us that same energy of those who helped pave the way for where our LGBTQIA+ siblings are today. May we never stop expanding the borders of love and acceptance for queer, brown, and black bodies.

In Your Mercy | Hear Our Prayer

(Reconciling Works @ https://ministrylink.org/pride-2020/)

PREVIOUS ISSUES
Police Brutality
Intersectionality and LGBTQ Rights
White Privilege/White Fragility
Voting Rights and Voter Supression
Indigenous Rights
Racism in Education
Racism in Healthcare

Images of God

Anti-Racism Resources for Kids
Black History Month
Intersectional Feminism/Anti-Asian Racism
Environmental Racism
Microaggressions
Critical Race Theory
Immigration Rights and Xenophobia
Restorative Justice
Civic Engagement
Interfaith Advocacy

Just a note: the various viewpoints included in these newsletters (either by authors of content or the organizations they represent) do not necessarily represent the viewpoint or position of the Swedenborgian Church of North America (SCNA). The editors present them in the spirit of learning and reflection. 

(Editors: Rev. Shada Sullivan and Lori Gayheart)

Want to be added to this email list? Send your email to revshada@gmail.com

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.