Black History Month
“Black history isn’t a separate history. This is all of our history, this is American history, and we need to understand that.” – Karyn Parsons
“We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness.” – Yvette Clarke
Power of Allyship
Join Jan Wilson from Floris UMC and the Loudoun NAACP for a 4-week program titled the “Power of Allyship.” This series was so popular during the summer of 2021 that they decided to bring it back this year! Join us for this interfaith series of conversations on the Power of Allyship.
Wednesdays from February 9-March 9 from 7-8:30 p.m.
From Apathy to Action Online Course
Join our friends from Unity of Fairfax for this 8-week opportunity beginning Thursday, February 3, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. This transformation of consciousness class will include discussions and videos on what we can do to move ourselves and this country from systemic racism to systemic love. We will explore this concept through readings, discussions, videos and journaling. For more information, contact Patty Hagan at email@example.com.
This is a Zoom class. Pre-registration is required to participate. There is a sliding scale fee ($0-120) depending on need.
Racial Issues Film & Discussion Series
Reston’s United Christian Parish is hosting a series of video and book discussions over four Mondays at 7 p.m. Learn more and get Zoom details.
- February 7 – Healing Justice/World Trust (film)
- February 14 – Healing Justice/World Trust (film)
- February 21 – Discussion of film and interpersonal change
- February 28 – Discussion of film and interpersonal change
Anti-Racist Book Group
The Anti-Racist Book Group meets once a month. We discuss books to expand our knowledge of the history of racism and the effects of racism on our brothers and sisters. We also discuss ideas for challenging racist systems and ways we can personally become anti-racist. It is a safe place for people of all races to explore their role in racism or how racism has affected them.
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This year, we will alternate between discussing a book and current topics related to social justice. Before each meeting, we will assign readings and/or videos featuring social justice issues. On Sunday, February 20 at 11 a.m., we will talk about what Critical Race Theory is/means and why it is under attack.
In March, we will read and discuss “Do Better: Spiritual Activism for Fighting and Healing from White Supremacy” by Rachel Ricketts. Whether you’ve had the chance to read the material or not, join us for a lively and safe conversation.
As always, if possible, support Black-owned bookshops
- Books and Crannies
- Mahogany Books
- Loyalty Bookstores
- or your favorite (please share with us)!
RE-READ? The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. If you missed our discussion in 2021, or want a new perspective with new friends, join United Christian Parish’s Breaking the Silence group. They meet Monday evenings via Zoom from March 21-April 11.
For more information and the Zoom link, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Preserve Black History with Group-Sourced Transcription!
Honor Black History Month by being a “volunpeer” transcriber! Increase access to the Norma Merrick Sklarek Archival Collection and the Charlene Hodges Byrd Collection by joining others online who review and transcribe archival documents. Smithsonian Transcription Center digital volunteers will transcribe and review materials related to groundbreaking architect Norma Sklarek (1926–2012), whose prestigious career paved the way for future women architects and architects of color. And, teacher Charlene Hodges Byrd (1929–2009), whose ca. 1750–2009 collection captures stories of African American family life, religion, race, and education, as well as her extended family’s relationship with Frederick Douglass. Keep history alive! Learn More
Postcards and Prayers for Voting Rights
The Floris Postcard Team is in the midst of another postcard campaign. We are encouraging voters (in Texas this time) to ensure they are registered and to vote early. Make sure to get in on the fun for the next campaigns (see below). No minimums to meet for writing, just be a part of a team advocating for the rights of ALL Americans to vote! Learn More
Upcoming Election Postcard Writing Timeframes
- May – Georgia
- June – Virginia
- October – Midterms
A Child(ren’s book) Shall Lead
Let’s look at the top 10 children’s books for Black History Month! No matter your age, who can resist a good picture book?
1. Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine
2. This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt
3. Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
4. Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
5. The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
6. Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport
7. Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedomby Carole Boston Weatherford
8. Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
9. Teammates by Peter Golenbock
10. Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African-Americans by Kadir Nelson
Catch some of these at the library or your favorite black-owned bookstore, like Nooks and Crannies!
Share the Message
Let your friends and neighbors know how Floris UMC is working to learn, advocate and act toward justice and reconciliation. Invite them to Sunday worship, the Racial Reconciliation book club, or a life group.
Share Black History Month, Floris UMC Racial Reconciliation and other resources with your friends and family through email, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Celebrate Douglass Day by Searching for the Women of the Colored Conventions
Help Frederick Douglass celebrate his chosen birthday with a celebration and preservation of black history. Take part in a virtual group transcription event or solo endeavor of transcribing and finding the names of the women who lead the Colored Conventions. No training or major time commitment is necessary. Just a computer and some grammatical/visual sleuthing skills! Check out this great way to ensure history isn’t erased! Start transcribing on your own.
Celebrate at the Museum
Celebrate Black History Month by attending (online or in person) any of the free offerings from the National Museum of African American History & Culture.
- Check out Cornerstones wishlist for items needed for the hypothermia shelter.
- Clean out closets and donate gently used coats and clothing to local donation spots like The Closet or OAR.
- Financial donations toward BIPOC justice and healing through Equal Justice Initiative.
- Financial donations toward Indigenous justice and healing through First Nations Development Instituteand/or Native American Rights Fund.
- Set up recurring financial giving to a local food pantry in Fairfax or Loudoun.
Daily Prayers for Racial Justice
Sign up to receive a short daily prayer for anti-racism and racial justice. A simple and quick way to start the year in prayer and focused on justice!
Share this information with family, friends and neighbors. We invite all to join in this work for racial reconciliation. Our vision is to transform ourselves, our church and our community through education, advocacy and action.