Breaking the Silence: Courageous Conversations about Race and Reconciliation in the Local Church
ABSTRACT BENJAMIN URIAH BARNETT, JR. BREAKING THE SILENCE: COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE & RECONCILIATION IN THE LOCAL CHURCH Under the direction of DAVID HULL, D.MIN. Fifteen participants engaged in courageous conversations over four weeks to measure how safe, spiritual, and strategic small groups are in breaking through the deafening silence that quite often mutes racial discourse. This project is a qualitative study which used a video series entitled Vital Conversation, which is produced by GCORR (General Commission on Race and Religion) of the United Methodist Church. After viewing each video, fifteen participants then engaged in dialogue based upon questions included with each video session. The results of this research indicate that small groups are a safe, spiritual, and strategic way to break the silence of racial discourse. As each week progressed, participants experienced increased trust in one another and the group. Further study is needed to determine if these small groups are effective with persons who do not share similar commonalities.
Barnett, Benjamin Uriah