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MSJE March 2021 Latitudinarian by Pam Johnson

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

Ministry for Social Justice (MSJE):

New Announcements and New Programs for You!

MSJE has lots of new information and programs for you to!

Don’t be shy!

Please join us at our next MSJE Organizational Meeting

Sunday, March 14th 12N.

Always the 2nd Sunday of each month, 12N.

I. The Split the Plate Recipient for November 2020 - March 2021 will continue with the BV Food Bank. They are in great need during this COVID-19 period. We extended this collection because of the growing food insecurities faced by many due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

II. Confronting Our Racism. The Confronting Our Racism Group (CORG) is a coalition of community organizations started by the Brazos UU. Members of the CORG include:

  • Brazos Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Social Justice and the Environment

  • Bryan/College Station Library System

  • Brazos Valley African American Museum (BVAAM) Curator and Board of Trustees

  • Brazos County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

  • Brazos Valley Black Lives Matter (BLM) Group

  • Consulting team of specialists in racism and segregation

In an effort to increase our understanding of systemic racism and the ways it impacts individuals and our communities, the CORG plans to invite community groups to participate in community-wide conversations to educate ourselves and discuss issues of discrimination and inequality in Bryan and College Station (B/CS), Texas.

With this program, the CORG plans to present to the B/CS community and surrounding areas a series of readings, films and speaker presentations that will initially be discussed in small community groups. After a set period of time, we will invite the whole community to participate in a virtual panel discussion on the selected topic. The panel will include members of our community and experts in the field of racism and inequality. During the panel discussions, we hope to again break up into randomly assigned smaller groups to continue discussions with facilitators, followed by a question and answer session with the panel.

Race matters in our community and it is time that we have open and truthful conversations about it. We hope to address persistent racial disparities intentionally, explicitly, and comprehensively and to learn from these discussions. The CORG will provide a forum to effectively engage, sustain and deepen interracial dialogue so that, as a community, we can make changes that will benefit all.

A. Implicit Bias Videos

As UUs, it is our responsibility to be aware of how our biases affect others and learn how to navigate them. Watch the following 4 videos (all 10 minutes or less) and confront your biases.

  1. A Girl Like Me.

Do you remember Dr. Kenneth Clark’s study in the 1950s where Black children were asked which they would prefer to play with, a White or Black baby doll? Overwhelmingly, the Black children chose the White baby doll. Have things changed from then? Watch and see for yourself!

2. The Cost of Code Changing by Chandra Arthur

3. I Am Not Your Asian Stereotype by Canwen Xu

B. George Washington’s Dentures

Most people think George Washington’s dentures were made of wood. Did you know that Washington’s Teeth Were Never Made of Wood. Instead, they were made of many different materials, including brass, lead, gold, hippopotamus ivory, bone, and even human teeth.

Where did the human teeth come from? Many sources say the some of the teeth were his own teeth; he started having his bad teeth removed as soon as age 24. Others were purchased from the poor, who often sold their teeth for profit. They also came from his slaves, according to records at Mount Vernon. It is important to note that while Washington paid these enslaved people for their teeth it does not mean they had a real option to refuse his request. The poor and enslaved had been selling teeth as a means of making money since the Middle Ages, which were sold as dentures or implants to those of financial means.

Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by Phenderson Djèlí Clark, historian and occasional speculative fiction writer, is a fictional(?) narrative that’s worth reading.

III. The E in MSJE Stands for the Environment!

  1. Brazos UU Lunchtime Environmental TED Talks

  • Every 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month,

    • At 12N - 1 PM, Take a lunch break!

    • Pre-TED TALK Conversation 11:30A-12N

B. Upcoming Lunchtime Talks On The Environment

  • Thursday, Feb 25th - Conserve Water & Save $$$

    • By Jennifer Nations, CS Water Resource Coordinator

  • Wednesday, Mar 10th - The Good News: How the Energy Transition Will Eventually Stop Climate Change

    • By Prof. Gunnar Schade, TAMU Geology

    • Climate Change is the ultimate test for humanity: Are we smart enough to prevent the collapse of our own society? After two centuries of rapid technological process, and several decades of organized denial, we are faced with the necessity of a rapid conversion of our energy system to prevent the worst outcomes of a Global Warming of our own doing. The good news is that we have all the tools to make it happen, we "only" need to overcome the cultural, social and political barriers we have built over time ...

    • Note the day change to Wednesday due to Prof. Schade’s teaching schedule

  • Thursday, March 25th - Is Global Warming Real?

    • By Professor Alan Pepper, TAMU Ecology and Evolution Biology

  • Thursday, April 8, 2021 - What Is Wrong With The TX Electric Grid?”

    • By Prof Garcia

IV. Green Tip of the Week. Maya Lazarus continues to update the Green ‘tip of the Week. If you would like to add a Green Tip, contact Maya.

V. How Long Does It Take to Decompose?

Thanks to Teri Metcalf and Bobby Presley for finding this data. Why in the world are we still using plastic bags?

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