June 26, 2020
HDI joins Healthcare Ready and World Impact on creating a guide titled The Black Church in Action Against Racism and COVID-19, available for free by download.
As our country faces both a global pandemic and racial unrest, the importance of the Black Church as a catalyst for social change has never been greater. A new guide from the Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) at Wheaton College, created in partnership with Healthcare Ready and World Impact, provides a practical and Biblical resource to support the ministry of Black churches speaking and acting against racism while also protecting health. The 16-page guide, titled The Black Church in Action Against Racism and COVID-19: A Practical and Biblical Guide to Prophetic Ministry While Protecting Health, is available to download free at https://www.reopeningthechurch.com/churchinactionmanualdownload.
"Faith communities desire to reflect the God of justice in this moment of racial unrest through protesting, advocacy, and civic engagement. Our prayer is that this guide enables them to engage in this important Gospel work safely," said Theon Hill, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication at Wheaton College and lead author on the new guide.
Written toward Black church leaders but accessible to any church looking to take action against racism while also protecting health during COVID-19, this guide offers practical ways for churches to respond to systemic vulnerabilities, become collective agents of change, develop productive partnerships, and not get weary in doing well. It also offers resources for further reading to continue the learning process.
The guide was born out of a webinar HDI hosted in partnership with the National Association of Evangelicals on June 5th on the topic of "Race, Church, and Response in Crisis," featuring Dr. Hill along with guide co-authors Nicolette Louissaint, Ph.D., (Executive Director of Healthcare Ready), Alvin Sanders, Ph.D., (President and CEO of World Impact), and Marcus Coleman, M.P.A. (Advisory Board Member for the Diversity in National Security Network and the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management and former Acting Deputy Director of the Center for Faith & Opportunity Initiatives at the Department of Homeland Security) in conversation on the intersections of racism, systemic inequity, COVID-19 and the church. HDI Founder and Executive Director Jamie Aten, Ph.D., and HDI Director of Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership Kent Annan, M.Div., joined them in creating this guide out of that conversation.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, HDI has worked to equip churches with resources, such as the Preparing Your Church for Coronavirus manual, the COVID-19 Church Online Summit (in partnership with the National Association of Evangelicals) and the Spiritual First Aid Summit (in partnership with Food for the Hungry, NavPress, and Outreach, Inc.), which combined had more than 16,000 registrants from around the world, the Spiritual First Aid manual and resource hub, Reopeningthechurch.com (in partnership with the National Association of Evangelicals), and an ongoing weekly webinar series tackling some of the most pressing issues churches are facing in the wake of a pandemic.