Thanks to Women at the Well for “Race Matters” Seminar

Morning . . .

Morning . . .

Wimminwise will echo the enthusiastic comments being made by others about the “Race Matters” seminar sponsored by Women at the Well, which we attended on Monday night. It’s not because we think we need to remind anyone that the dialogue on race is one of the small handful of most important dialogues to be undertaking in our present context. We are confident most everyone agrees with that. It’s not because we think we need to remind anyone of the complex forms intersectional oppression takes in the US and in the global context, with race interacting with gender and class and other lines of difference along which power is deployed and privilege is acted out. Again, we are pretty confident that most people have given up the search for the holy grail of a “root oppression” which, if transformed, would cause all the other oppressions to fall like dominoes. If only it were that simple, the task would be difficult enough! As it is, the task always seems to require confronting the knotty manifestations of pervasive oppression and dynamics of domination situation by situation.

It’s because it was a privilege, and an encouraging, exciting development, to be involved in something that felt like an initiative . . . an opening that has perhaps not come along for a long time . . . like being in on the ground floor of a new, salutary process.

Judging from the significant attendance, lots of people shared this sense. That was cause for celebration in and of itself. And those who attended were rewarded with a panel-full of thoughtful, insightful observations on race, racial dialogue, the demands of the task of reconciliation ahead of our communities and our country, and a lot to think about and work to act on.

But there was something more: a palpable sense of hopefulness. At times, reticent — as if, it’s such a wild idea, that the so-deeply-embedded fractures of racism and race privilege and institutionalized misunderstanding and damage might be confronted and overcome, that people almost don’t want to say “that’s what we want, that’s what we’re going to work on, and that’s what we’re determined to achieve.” At times, incredulous — who would have thought we would ever really feel this way? At times, wistful — that these opportunities have been so few and far between. But throughout, glad, and determined not to let this chance slip away.

So thank you, Women at the Well, for discerning the time, and making the opportunity. May God establish the work of your hands.

[Image source: roadsongs at]

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About Ha_Qohelet

Ha_Qohelet is a transliteration of Hebrew definite article plus a feminine participle, all together meaning "the (feminine) one who assembles" or who calls together. Qohelet is the title of one of the books of the Hebrew Scripture, known in English as Ecclesiastes. The Women's Center at LPTS feels the epithet of Qohelet is a fitting one for what we do and are. The Women's Center is, indeed, a caller-together, a caller-to-wisdom, and an assembler -- of people, of ideas, of actions, and ultimately, we hope, of transformations in the world. In this context, Ha_Qohelet is the Director of the Women's Center, and Editor-in-Chief of Wimminwise.

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