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Sunday Forum: A Case Study in Working Class Activism
December 9, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 12:00 pm
Presenters: Raymond Harris, Bob Graves, Jeanette Coleman, Terri Williams and Kimetta Ann Carter, executive officers, The Alms Residents Association
Moderator: Dr. Prince Brown Jr.
Spiritual Happening: Living the Beloved Community Sunday Forums
A Case Study of Working Class Activism
In December, Dr. Prince Brown Jr. and Julieta Simms are coordinating two Sunday forums to help us better understand social justice in the Age of Empire. The New Testament tells the story of a struggle for truth, justice, and equality. Analysis of the teachings of Jesus requires careful consideration of the ways in which the economics of the Roman Empire were forged at the intersection of religion, ethnicity, race, and class.
In Interpretation: Money and Possessions, Walter Brueggemann suggests that the Beloved Community is unobtainable as long as profits are put before people. In this regard, the lessons of the Bible are inextricable from the economic reality of the time. This realization is also the focus of the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice, a standing Church committee.
These Spiritual Happening forums, which focus on the socioeconomics of race, invite examination and understanding of our cathedral’s commitment to and quest for the Beloved Community in the context of American Empire.
On this Sunday, we hear from tenants living in the low-rent Alms apartment building in Walnut Hills formed the Alms Residents Association, who represented themselves in negotiations with an absentee landlord who refused to maintain the property consistent with the terms of the lease agreement. When the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) decided to close the building, rather than insist it be repaired, the Association brought suit against HUD with the assistance of attorneys from the Legal Aid Society. The court found in favor of the Residents’ Association, saving their homes. The ruling found that HUD was in violation of the federal laws it is charged with enforcing.
Officers of the Alms Residents Association are giving a brief presentation outlining their problem-solving strategies, as well as their struggles to survive in a society that ignores their humanity and underestimates their abilities.
After the presentation, those in attendance are to divide into small groups, each led by one of the presenters, to facilitate collaborative dialogue on the relationship between housing rights and the development of Beloved Community.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein