Racism, racial reconciliation and white privilege will be addressed at a community event hosted by Freeland’s Trinity Lutheran Church on Sunday, Sept. 30.
Called “Let Justice Roll Down: A Multi-Media Musical Journey to Selma and Back” the program is a collaboration between Plymouth Church Seattle United Church of Christ and the group, reSound, a Northwest Chamber Ensemble.
The event is cosponsored by many Whidbey churches and social justice organizations.
South Whidbey resident Claudia Walker will be singing in the program with reSound, which is the choir in residence at Lynnwood’s Trinity Lutheran Church. “I’m active with the music arts community and excited about having this group come to the island,” Walker said.
The presentation is divided into segments that reviews the history of the civil rights movement and examines current struggles of racism. It’s to be followed by a call “to recognize and deal with white supremacy/privilege,” according to a press release.
Organizers of the event point out that positive steps toward racial justice have historically been followed by a push back. They also state that “the roots for this dilemma trace back to America’s ‘original sin’ of slavery” and the accompanying white racism.
“Emancipation was followed by Jim Crow; an end to codified segregation and voting restrictions were followed by a ‘Southern strategy’ designed to push back or manipulate civil rights gains,” the release states. “Most recently, the election/re-election of an African American to the presidency has resulted in a political atmosphere allowing white nationalism to raise its ugly head once again.”
The pastor of Seattle’s Plymouth Church UCC, Rev. Dr. Kelle Brown, will introduce the program. Plymouth has a history of leadership in the struggle for racial justice in the Puget Sound region.
Part of the program features video impressions from youth of Plymouth Church who visited sites important to the civil rights movement. Upon their return, the high school-aged youth and their leaders compiled their experiences into a book, “Our Faith Journey through the American Civil Rights Movement.”
The press release notes that the community of South Whidbey “lacks significant racial and ethnic diversity…the event will call upon South Whidbey residents to embrace the issue of white privilege and racism that is still embedded in our society.”
The program is described as a way “to offer an opportunity through witness and music to renounce the rise of white nationalism and continue addressing the original sin of slavery.”
• Community event, “Let Justice Roll Down”; 4-6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 18341 Highway 525, Freeland. Free, all invited. Donations accepted at the door. A reception follows.