DECATUR – Why, an observer might ask, would a seminar on Re-routing the School-to-Prison Pipeline take place in a church?
One reason for such an event Saturday at Central Christian Church is the hosts are members of the Pro-Reconciliation and Anti-Racism Team of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Another is that the church is an important front line in the battle against the systemic racism that puts a disproportionate number of people of color into that pipeline.
Indeed, the Rev. Dietra Wise Baker, the keynote speaker, went after churches first in indicting segments of society guilty of “building paneled houses” while letting the community deteriorate.
Referencing the work she has been doing in Ferguson, Mo., as co-leader of the clergy caucus of the Metropolitan Congregations United of St. Louis, Baker said she has seen more examples of Jesus on the streets in the past 100 days that she’s found in the church.
“Have churches done the work of making the community a place where God can dwell or just continued to make a place where they can dwell?” she said.
Others chimed in as the day went on, including the Rev. Stacey Brohard,… (Read More)