WXXI AM News

MAMA focuses on anti-racist ministry and action

Aug 7, 2017

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

An organization in Rochester is calling itself the first Christian based group in the city to focus exclusively on anti-racist ministry and action.

Movement for Anti-racist Ministry and Action or MAMA say it’s more than a bible study, it’s the church becoming educated and understanding how systems work that perpetuate individual, structural and institutional racism in issues such as housing, education and healthcare.

Reverend Judy Davis, a member of the MAMA steering committee, said they plan on doing this by starting from the beginning, and offered an educational series that gives people historical context for many of the policies and practices that are troublesome today.

"You have to go back to where the breach took place. If there are two people who are not getting along, they have to go back to where the breach happened and understand what happened and face, even if it’s difficult, what happened, in order to repair that breach."

MAMA wants to bring together black and white Christian churches to open dialogue and dive into how and why racism got to this point in both the Christian church and the United States in general.

“The place where the white church and the black church had been different is that the black church takes the gospel message and looks the gospel message from the perspective of oppression, not from the perspective of dominant culture."

Reverend Davis said in order to move forward in solving issues on racism, organizers need to know the right questions to ask and better strategize.

The first issue the group will tackle is education in Rochester. Their main concern is what they feel is a lack of race and class conscious teachers of color in the Rochester City School District.

MAMA will host a forum for candidates of the three open RCSD Board of Education seats this Thursday, August 10th from 6:30-8:30pm at the Community of the Savior Church on East Henrietta Road.