Anti-Racism – Power and Privilege
December 4, 2022
Name the brokenness…
Proclaim a gospel of reconciliation
For almost two decades, NBTS has given serious attention to antiracism teaching and action. But more recently, the Seminary has broadened discussions to those around power and privilege.
The change in language was triggered by comments from international students. They pointed out that whereas racism is a serious problem in the United States, oppression takes different forms in different cultures.
All masters students take two courses on the topic of power and privilege as it relates to race, gender, and class. The first course is a two-day workshop in which students deeply engage this topic and participate in challenging discussions with one other – Analyzing Systems of Privilege Workshop. Participants will build a common definition of privilege and racism. We will explore the historical development of institutional racism in the U.S. Then, participants will discuss the current realities of racism, including internalized, overt, microaggressions, and silence. We will consider the link between racism and other forms of oppression. With a shared vocabulary and methodology, we will explore strategies to dismantle racism in the church and community.
Board members also receive training in power and privilege. According to Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Beth Tanner, “It is an institutional priority for everyone in the NBTS community to understand anti-racism, and more broadly, the roles power and privilege play in all aspects of human life.”
These courses are led by faculty teams of four professors with diverse identities—persons of color and white people, women and men, immigrant and native born. If students can see themselves in one of the instructors, they are more likely to share freely.
President Micah McCreary is eager to share the workshop experience beyond the Seminary. He has seen the transformation that happens when individuals deepen their knowledge of this topic and hear the perspectives of those with different life experiences: “We shouldn’t apologize for the lens we wear. But when we take off that lens, we can see others as whole people.”