Updates on my work for the past few months – Catherine Meeks

1. Publication of edited volume Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America in November 2016. The book has been distributed to all of the Episcopal Bishops in the United States and thirteen countries by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry with the request that they consider it for book studies in their respective dioceses. Book studies are being convened with this volume in multiple locations across the country at this time.

2. Shepherding the process of moving the work of dismantling racism in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta from the current commission structure to the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing which will be done in partnership with the The National Episcopal Church and Bishop Michael Curry. This is the first entity of its type for the Episcopal Church and it is a profound blessing to have the level of support that is being given by the Presiding Bishop. The Center is scheduled for the ribbon cutting by the Presiding Bishop on October 14, 2017 and I will serve as the Founding Executive Director.

3. The work of remembering those who were lynched in the state of Georgia continues to move along in a very encouraging manner. In October of this year I will be leading a pilgrimage to Athens Georgia where we will remember eighty-one persons who were lynched and place a marker with all of their names.

In 2018 we will place a maker of remembrance in Atlanta for those lynched in this area and following the conclusion of this three year cycle the National Civil and Human Rights Museum will create an ongoing memorial to remember the 600 persons lynched in Georgia. I am working with the Museum to help in the creation of this memorial, which will be composed of an exhibit that is capable of being loaned to other states when it is not being viewed in Atlanta.

I am serving as a volunteer consultant to the Episcopal Diocese of TN which is planning to remember those lynched in Davidson County( Nashville) in June and to a group in Florida who is planning a similar remembrance.

4. In June I will be presenting a paper at the Christian Scholars Conference at David Lipscomb University along with a young woman who is a student at Lipscomb. The session titled: Telling Our Stories: Searching for Our Souls will explore the journey of soul seeking from the perspective of two African American women, one a 19 year old and the other a 71 year old.  The idea for this panel arose out of the beautiful paper that the young student wrote about her quest for identity. What an exciting prospect of what this conversation will end up to be and where it will take us both as we continue our quests.

Catherine Meeks

Atlanta, GA