2.10 Janis Street // The Power of Words, Racism in America, and What Does God Say About Us?

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Janis Street joins us for the last episode to help wrap up season two and to introduce our topic for season three. When marginalized people thrive, everyone thrives.

Janis explains that racism and sexism can be experienced as overt aggression or as subtle microaggressions. She compares microaggressions to a bruise getting hit again and again, and she gives examples of this kind of covert aggression from her own life.

In the workplace, people of color often must work significantly harder than white people to prove themselves. Janis gives several examples of how racism and sexism have impacted her professional experience. We cannot effectively solve discrimination issues without leadership from those who have experienced it.

Janis teaches us about the power of words. We talk about the beauty of a church where it is possible for people to hold opposing views and still be in community with one another. 

What does it look like for us to truly understand that each and every person is created in the image of God? Janis says that this question targets the reality that racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice are distinctly unchristian. Actively loving others means using our words and actions to speak out against discrimination and prejudice in our communities. 

Janis leaves us with a rallying cry and call for self-examination quoted from Micah 6:8b: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Are we seeking justice? Are we examining our biases? Are we silent when we see injustice or are we acting as a voice for the marginalized? Are we actively seeking relationships with those who are different from us? Are we really trying to learn with the humble heart of a servant, or are we sitting comfortably in our suburban bubbles? Rather than judging, are we getting curious about the experiences of others? Are we remembering that there is that of God in every person? 

Thank you for listening and learning with us as we have explored the dynamics of power abuse this season. Here’s your homework until season three launches: read the book I Am Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.

Music by Kate Short; Instagram @kate_tshort

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Episode Executive Producer, host, and editor: Kelly Browning; Assistant Producer and show notes: Sarah McDuffee, Marketing Director: Robyn Boren, Social Media Manager: Molly Baize, episode mixed by Isabelle Le.

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