Christ Church Cathedral is a multi-ethnic congregation in downtown Montreal, and we are passionate about inclusion.
We have entered a process of reviewing our own corporate life, to identify our own history of racism as well as the ways in which our structures systemically exclude people because of their colour.
Flying this flag is a symbol of these tasks for justice which we undertake in sorrow and solidarity.


Following the discussion at Cathedral Forum in June about the Cathedral’s response to Black Lives Matter, four working groups have been formed:

Group 1 will be researching the Cathedral's history, to acknowledge our failings around inclusion,

Group 2 will be identifying areas of systemic racism within our structures and developing a culture of equal access,

Group 3 will be planning the ongoing education of the congregation regarding racism and inclusion,

Group 4 will be finding ways to celebrate our diversity.

Please speak to Dean Bertrand if you would like to join one of these committees.

 

Educating Ourselves

Message from Group 3: educational initiatives

An Invitation to Learn: As you know, the Cathedral Community has decided to engage the issue of racism in Canada and among ourselves. Part of that work will be deepening our understanding of racism so that we can be better prepared to address it in our own Cathedral community and in the other communities of which we are members. The Black Lives Matter subcommittee which is working on educational initiatives (known on this page as Group 3) is taking a multi-prong approach, setting forth some suggestions for each of us to engage on our own during the remainder of the summer while working to prepare interactive small-group and relational learning for the Fall.

To that end, we would like to suggest that each member of the congregation, as you are able, find time to study at least some of the following resources. They are chosen with two objectives in mind: first, to deepen our understanding of what racism is and how it shapes the world in which each of us moves, and, second, to learn how to resist it. We recognize that it is very tempting to jump right over the first of those pieces and immediately to embrace the label anti-racist; however, as Christians, we are called to conversion from the heart, and that involves understanding how we are implicated in the broken systems around us.

If you are new to this discussion, or you have been taught to think of racism as “being mean to people,” one place to start is Debby Irving’s Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race. While set in a U.S. context, Irving’s book can teach us to ask the right questions in our own context, and her background closely parallels the white settler experience in Canada.

For those more familiar with the idea of systemic racism, Desmond Cole’s The Skin We’re In provides a compelling look at racial realities in Canada today, told by a black journalist and activist.

Ibram Kendi’s How to be an Anti-Racist is hailed as the best book on this subject.

The Cathedral will offer discussion groups on the Kendi and Cole books in the fall. We will be purchasing a few copies of each book which will be available to borrow if you do not wish to buy your own copies. Contact Deborah Meister to obtain them.

Books we can read
TitleAuthorCommentLinks
How to Be an AntiracistIbram X. KendiSuggested by BLM Group 3 - to be discussed in the fall
“The most courageous book to date on the problem of race in the Western mind.” —The New York Times
The Word Bookstore may still have copies.

Kobo - ebook

The Skin We’re InDesmond ColeSuggested by BLM Group 3 - to be discussed in the fallKobo  - ebook
Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of RaceDebby IrvingSuggested by BLM Group 3Kobo - ebook
Stamped from the Beginning:
The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America
Ibram X. KendiKendi's first book which details the  development of racist ideas in Western culture and the process by which they were imported into the colonies. The first chapter material would be relevant background for Canadian colonists as well. (Deborah's comments)Kobo - ebook
Between the World and MeTa-Nehisi CoatesThis is a letter from the author to his young son.The Cathedral Reading Group is reading this for its August meeting.

amazon.ca

The Fire Next TimeJames BaldwinThis is a letter from the author to his nephew; the pattern for Coate's book.The Cathedral Reading Group is reading this for its August meeting.

amazon.ca

White Fragility
Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Robin DiAngeloallows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine)Kobo ebook
Biased
Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do
Jennifer EberhardtThe author is a black sociologist with a Ph.D. from Harvard, who almost missed getting to carry the flag in her commencement procession because she was in jail after a traffic stop.Kobo ebook
Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to ResilienceSheila Wise Rowe"People of color have endured traumatic histories and almost daily assaults on our dignity. We have prayed about racism, been in denial, or acted out in anger, but we have not known how to individually or collectively pursue healing from the racial trauma."Kobo ebook

Kindle ebook

Suggested reading lists and articles

Westmount Library - suggested reading list, annotated: BLM list

The Guardian - Anti-racist reading list

An excellent short pamphlet explaining systemic racism, suggested by the Cathedral BLM Group 3.

How slavery sowed the seeds of American collapse (Article - June 19, 2020)

Pulitzer-prize-winning The 1619 Project, an ongoing series of articles (also podcasts) of The New York Times which " aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative."

The assumptions of white privilege and what we can do about it (National Catholic Reporter - Article - June 1, 2020)

The Role Publishing Plays in the Commodification of Black Pain (Tor.com - Article - June 17, 2020)

Montreal protesters galvanized by U.S. riots (National Observer Article - June 2, 2020)

Everyone’s an Antiracist. Now What? (NYTimes - Opinion piece - July 6, 2020)

How to Confront a Racist National History (New Yorker Article - July 6, 2020)

Videos we can watch

Suggested by BLM Group 3: Monsieur Lazhar, a beautiful movie set in Montreal  - trailer available on CBC Films. Movie available on CBC Gem

The Creator Of VeggieTales gives A No-Nonsense History Of Race In America In 17 Minutes (Video Link)

A hand-painted animation about Reconstruction (Twitter Link)

How White Fragility Reinforces Racism (YouTube Video)

A look at anti-black racism in Canada (CBC News Video)

Ibram X. Kendi on How to be an Antiracist, at UC Berkeley (YouTube video - long - 2 hours!)