Becoming Beloved Community: A Week of Learning for Young People



Beloved Community offers a five day deep-dive for young people who desire to work together to create beloved community. Each day focuses on a different part of the work: telling the truth, proclaiming the dream, practicing the way of love, and becoming beloved community where you are. Through teaching, videos, activities, journaling, discussion, and guest speakers, participants gain knowledge and tools they need to work towards a community that works for all people.

Have a group of students that would be interested in participating in Becoming Beloved Community over a week or a series of weekends? Let us know!

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Telling the Truth

On the first day we begin with asking: what things have we done and left undone regarding racial justice and healing? Focus for the day: to share about the history and realities of race in the US and Iowa.

The first day includes a lot of history—including the Doctrine of Discovery, how the myth of race and lie of white supremacy developed, slavery and Jim Crow, the boarding school era, how the wealth gap emerged, and more. We learn that racism is much more than individual bias or prejudice—that it is a system with different componants. We hear from Indigenous guest speakers who are working to sustain their Nation’s language, culture, and resources.


Proclaiming the Dream

How can we publicly acknowledge things done and left undone? What does Beloved Community look like? What behaviors and commitments foster healing, reconciliation?

We examine the meaning of UBUNTU and what a reparations focus could look like. We talk about the Way of Love and practices that foster healing. We practice meditating with a Buddhist teacher and learn how it can foster compassion. We learn about different faith practices and hear from Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders about the ways their faith and traditions motivate them to work for racial justice and healing.


Practicing the Way of Love

How will we grow as reconcilers, healers, and justice-bearers? How will we actively grow relationships across dividing walls and seek Christ in the other?

We spend time volunteering with organizations that foster dignity, justice and relationship-building. We learn from recent Sudanese immigrants about their experiences in the Iowa City area.


Repairing the Breach

What institutions and systems are broken? How can we participate in the repair, restoration, and healing of people, institutions, and systems?

We spend time with people and organizations that are actively working on justice issues like affordable housing, immigration, living wages, wage theft, voting rights, affordable access to locally grown food, rebuilding neighborhoods after disasters like flooding, reforming the criminal justice system, etc.


Becoming Beloved Community Where You Are

Living into the Great Commandment invites us to embrace the most vulnerable people in our communities as beloved neighbors. How will you use your insights, assets, and relationships for the sake of justice-making and healing? What are your sources for courage?

We spend time exploring and dreaming of what beloved community might look like in practical terms. Through an exercise based on Wakanda from Black Panther, the students brainstorm and negotiate together a community design that could work for everyone.

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