Race and Reconciliation Overview
St. Mark's is committed to engaging our community in the ongoing work of raising individual and communal consciousness about race so to create and sustain a parish environment of inclusive hospitality.
A special program was held at our 2007 parish retreat at Shrine Mont, led by consultant Harriet Lewis, to facilitate our parish in learning to speak more honestly and sensitively to one another on racial issues. The Race and Reconciliation group hosted several explorations of racial issues through literature; a screening of the documentary "The Color Of Fear"; a discussion with Stephanie Spellers, author of “Radical Welcome”; and co-hosting a visit to the “Jubilee” exhibit at the Anacostia Community Museum, in addition to our ongoing dialogue.
Harriet Lewis' untimely death following Shrine Mont, prior to her first scheduled parish workshop, left the parish without a leader to continue what she so ably started. With interest high and the need apparent, the Vestry made it a priority to search for a consultant to continue the process begun by Ms Lewis. Louise Walsh led the search that brought to us JaNay Queen and her co-consultant, Marc Brimhall-Vargas. JaNay and Marc are professionals working in the field of diversity awareness and sensitivity at the University of Maryland. After a meeting with the newly reconvened co-chairs of the R&R committee, the outgoing and incoming senior wardens and Paul last spring, JaNay and Marc were invited to present a proposal for a program to facilitate a parish wide dialogue about racial issues. Their proposed strategy was reviewed and accepted, and they were hired in June.