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Whiteness & BLM

3rd July 2020: Clive Marsh
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In a dialogue with Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, Clive Marsh reflects on their year as President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference.

"It seems right to start with Whiteness. For if there is one aspect of my own story that I have wrestled with keenly during the year then this is it. Readers of our So What's the Story...? will know that this important thread through my life began starkly when I was a student in Chicago in the mid-1980s. Race, and racism, awareness (my own!) was one thing; fully appreciating the significance and privilege of my Whiteness has taken a lot longer. The past year has taken me much further in this demanding journey, interweaving experiences from the Vice-Presidential role with fresh discoveries through the theological education day jobs I have still been doing. I could never have foreseen how these personal explorations would connect with important current political developments. It is one thing to be working on 'decolonising the curriculum', as I have been for many years. It is another to be pressed not just to think about, but to be called to action now, directly and concretely in fresh ways, on the recognition that Black Lives Matter in church and society. Personally I'd be happy to see all statues moved to museums. But what are our equivalents to this in church life? I just hope I can make constructive use of all of this when I begin my new role as Principal of the Queen's Foundation in Birmingham in September.

For their full dialogue, click here.

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