SURJ-Twin Cities is a Minnesota chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing white people for racial justice. White people have been told for years by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) activists that we need to educate and organize our own people. So that’s what we try to do at SURJ-TC.
SURJ-Faith Twin Cities offers this learning circle on Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery. Though hundreds of years old, this Doctrine of Discovery continues to shape our culture, laws, and religion today. It has been cited in court cases even in the 21st century; it leads governments and corporations to extract resources from the earth with no regard to the rights or wellbeing of Indigenous peoples; it is the foundation of white supremacy, ascribing moral goodness and rightness to those of Western European descent and culture. The Doctrine of Discovery, though rarely named, continues to rot the roots of our society.
For this learning circle, we are especially seeking members of any faith communities (congregational lay leaders, ordained clergy of all traditions, and activist-organizers), because our goal is to support participants in bringing back more knowledge and action steps to their congregations or communities.
We encourage participants who are interested in bringing the work of transformative repair back to their communities to apply. Decolonization work involves challenging and critical self-reflection and relationships of support to enact personal and structural change. For this reason, organizers strongly encourage that you participate in this learning circle with at least one other person from your spiritual community who is similarly committed to doing this work alongside you and within your shared community. In this way, we hope to spark more organizing within churches and other spiritual communities in the Twin Cities towards increased actions in solidarity with Indigenous communities.
In this cohort, we will:
- Learn about the history and harm of the Doctrine of Discovery on our theology, society, and Indigenous peoples
- Face the ways our lives and our family histories intersect with and benefit from the history of colonization
- Explore a way of life grounded in reparative justice and solidarity
- Commit to next steps as we move from learning to taking action as individuals and in our congregations
- Try on spiritual and somatic practices that facilitate personal and collective healing
Our format for this learning circle will include the dates below. In-person retreats will be held at Walker Church in south Minneapolis. We ask folks to commit to attending most, if not all, of the sessions.
- An opening retreat (Saturday April 15, 9am-4pm, with special guest Sarah Augustine)
- Five weekly online sessions (Wednesdays, 6:30-8pm - 4/19, 4/26, 5/3, 5/10, 5/17)
- A closing retreat (Saturday May 20, 1-4pm)
Questions? Send an email to: email@example.com