Equity Actions

Take Something, Bring Something

“LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER” ARTS CONVERSATIONS. Isn’t it time to be working together for equity and against white supremacy in our churches, schools, and everywhere we’re connected, using the many creative gifts we have all been blessed with to transform lives and make some real changes? This is one of seven sets of questions for all ages that might be used in Equity Voices arts conversations, for participants to express themselves artistically using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative means of responding, and also get to know a bit about other people participating in the conversations. Other topics include Self & Family, Other People, Community & Country, Race & Justice, Values, and Visions. Now, during Lent, each topic includes one Scripture-based question as the first in the list.

Please create your answers/responses to these questions using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative, artistic means of responding. Then share your response online (on the equity-voices.com website) and/or with your Equity Voices group, friends, family, or other people.

EQUITY ACTIONS: What actions can you take to make life fairer, more equitable and just for yourself and your family and all people?

  1. SCRIPTURE: (Luke 10: 30-37) Jesus said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead… [various people] passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” [The lawyer said] “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to illustrate or describe your thoughts and feelings about this story?
  2. When hanging out with friend(s), acquaintances, and/or family member(s)how would you make them comfortable or try to make sure they had a good time with you? Or how could you show love or concern for them, or help them with something they need? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey these ideas?
  3. What do you think or feel about the selection from the Letter From a Birmingham Jail? (See Appendix B below. ) Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what you think or feel about the Letter? Or can you imagine and write/compose/illustrate another letter of your own for yourself, your community, or our nation in today’s world?
  4. Imagine you are giving a party to celebrate an important occasion. What would you choose to celebrate? Whom would you invite? What activities? Food? Music? How would you make sure people felt welcomed and at ease? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what your party would be like?To show yourself or you and others enjoying the party and participating in its activities?
  5. Where do your best ideas come from? What is your best source for information? Are there certain topics you think about a lotCan you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey where you best ideas come from, how they come to you, and what kinds of concepts you think about a lot? Could these ideas be helpful in building and/or growing equity?
  6. What kinds of activities or hobbies do you like to do? What kinds of activities do you do with your family, friends, or other people? How could you share these activities or hobbies with others? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to show yourself doing something you like to do, alone or with family, friends, or other people, and how you feel about it?
  7. Think about a time you learned something new from a person of another race, culture, or background. What did you learn and how did you learn it? Or what is some new information, technique, lesson etc. you learned recently that might be helpful in building/growing equity? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey your experience of learning something new from a person of another race, culture, or background? Or explaining how some new information or techniques might be helpful in building or growing equity?

APPENDIX B: Selection from Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 “In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action…

“You may well ask: ‘Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?’ You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word ‘tension.’ I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.”

Visions

Improve and Overcome the World

“LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER” ARTS CONVERSATIONS. Isn’t it time to be working together for equity and against white supremacy in our churches, schools, and everywhere we’re connected, using the many creative gifts we have all been blessed with to transform lives and make some real changes? This is one of seven sets of questions for all ages that might be used in Equity Voices arts conversations, for participants to express themselves artistically using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative means of responding, and also get to know a bit about other people participating in the conversations. Other topics include Self & Family, Other People, Community & Country, Race & Justice, Values, Equity Actions. Now, during Lent, each topic includes one Scripture-based question as the first in the list.

Please create your answers/responses to these questions using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative, artistic means of responding. Then share your response online (on the equity-voices.com website) and/or with your Equity Voices group, friends, family, or other people.

VISIONS: What is your vision of a good life for yourself and your family as well as others in your community, city, state, or our nation (all people)?

  1. SCRIPTURE: (Acts 2:17) “God declares I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” What kind of visions, prophesies, and dreams have you been given? Do any relate to justice, equity, or antiracism?” Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to share any of your visions, prophecies, and/or dreams?
  2. Describe your personal ideal day. Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to show or describe your personal ideal day?
  3. What is your favorite holiday and why? What activities does it involve? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what your favorite holiday is and why? To show yourself or you and others enjoying the holiday and participating in its activities?
  4. What do you think about the children’s song “This Little Light of Mine” (“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…” Listen to the full song or read the full lyrics)? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey how you think/feel about the words of this song?
  5. If you could be granted one wish, what would you wish for? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to show what you would wish for and how it would turn out?
  6. What is something hard you have faced, and how did you overcome it, get through it etc. Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to give a sense of this difficult experience and how you dealt with it?
  7. What would be an ideal day in the life of your neighborhood, community, or our country. Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to show or tell about an ideal day in the life of your neighborhood, community, or our country?

Values

Increase in Wisdom and Favor

“LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER” ARTS CONVERSATIONS. Isn’t it time to be working together for equity and against white supremacy in our churches, schools, and everywhere we’re connected, using the many creative gifts we have all been blessed with to transform lives and make some real changes?

This is one of seven sets of questions for all ages that might be used in Equity Voices arts conversations, for participants to express themselves artistically using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative means of responding, and also get to know a bit about other people participating in the conversations. Other topics include Self & Family, Other People, Community & Country, Race & Justice, Visions, Equity Actions. Now, during Lent, each topic includes one Scripture-based question as the first in the list.

Please create your answers/responses to these questions using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative, artistic means of responding. Then share your response online (on this website) and/or with your Equity Voices group, friends, family, or other people.

VALUES: What are some values important to you?

  1. SCRIPTURE: (Luke 2:52) “Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.” What does wisdom mean to you? Divine and human favor? What are some of your most important values? Do you believe you have wisdom, good values, and/or understanding of that is important to people and to God? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey your understanding of wisdom, values, and divine and/or human favor?
  2. What does happiness mean to you? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey how you understand happiness?
  3. What does liberty or freedom mean to you? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey how you understand freedom and/or liberty?
  4. How would you describe safety and what it means to you? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to show how you understand safety and what it means to you?
  5. Who is your favorite or biggest hero/person (living or no longer living)? Who is someone you admire or love very much? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey who your favorite hero or other person is and how/why you admire or love this person?
  6. How would you define/describe health and what it means to you? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey how you understand health and what health means to you?
  7. How can we grow equity, justice, antiracism in our lives? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to illustrate/explain your understanding of how we can grow equity, justice, and/or antiracism in our lives?

Race & Justice

Build and Grow Equity

“LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER” ARTS CONVERSATIONS through Equity Voices… Isn’t it time to be working together for equity and against white supremacy in our churches, schools, and everywhere we’re connected, using the many creative gifts we have all been blessed with to transform lives and make some real changes?

This is one of seven sets of questions for all ages that might be used in Equity Voices arts conversations, for participants to express themselves artistically using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative means of responding, and also get to know a bit about other people participating in the conversations. The other topics include Self & Family, Other People, Community & Country, Values, Visions, Equity Actions. Now, during Lent, each topic includes one Scripture-based question as the first in the list.

Please create your answers/responses to these questions using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative, artistic means of responding. Then share your response online (on this website) and/or with your Equity Voices group, friends, family, or other people.

RACE & JUSTICE: What do you believe and how do you feel about race and justice?

  1. SCRIPTURE: (Micah 6:8) “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,  and to walk humbly with your God?” How would you explain justice? Injustice? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey how you understand justice? And injustice? How might you show kindness to other people and/or walk humbly with God?
  2. Consider the color labels (black, white, red, yellow, brown etc.) and the racial labels (White, Black, Indigenous, Asian, LatinX, Arab, Other etc.) Which of these labels applies to you? Or if you would say None, define your race/color in your own way. Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey this?
  3. When were you first aware of races and racial differences? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey some of these early experiences you had related to race and racial differences?
  4. How would you describe racism? antiracism? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey how you understand racism and/or antiracism?
  5. What do you think about the children’s song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” (“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red, brown, yellow, black, and white, they are precious in his sight…” Listen to the full song or read the full lyrics)? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey how you think/feel about the words of this song?
  6. How would you describe equity, and what does equity mean to you? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey how you understand equity and what equity means to you?
  7. When have you felt that life is unfair—to you or to other people? Try to describe a specific feeling or situation. Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey this sense of unfairness or injustice?

Community & Country

We Are One Body

“LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER” ARTS CONVERSATIONS. Isn’t it time to be working together for equity and against white supremacy in our churches, schools, and everywhere we’re connected, using the many creative gifts we have all been blessed with to transform lives and make some real changes?

These questions, on Community & Country, are part of seven topics for all ages that might be used in Equity Voices arts conversations, for participants to express themselves artistically using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative means of responding, and also get to know a bit about other people participating in the conversations. The other topics include Self & Family, Other People, Race & Justice, Values, Visions, Equity Actions. Now, during Lent, each topic includes one Scripture-based question as the first in the list.

Please create your answers/responses to these questions using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative, artistic means of responding. Then share your response online (on the equity-voices.com website) and/or with your Equity Voices group, friends, family, or other people.

COMMUNITY & COUNTRY: What do you believe and how do you feel about your community, city, state, and/or our country?

  1. SCRIPTURE: (Acts 2:44-47) “All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.” What do you think and feel about this description of the community of the early Christians? Is it a kind of community you would have liked and felt comfortable in or not? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what your feelings and thoughts are about this long-ago community of followers of Jesus?
  2. What kind of a place is your neighborhood or community? What is your neighborhood or community like? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what your neighborhood or your community is like?
  3. What do you think and feel about our country, the United States, and your life here? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what you think or feel about the U.S. and living here?
  4. What do you think and feel about our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” (listen to the full song or read the full lyrics)? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what you think or feel about the U.S. national anthem? Or can you imagine and write/compose/illustrate another anthem for our nation?
  5. What do you know about the “Black national anthem,” a song called “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (beginning “Lift every voice and sing till earth and heaven ring, ring with the harmonies of Liberty…” Listen to the full song or read the full lyrics)? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what you think or feel about the Black national anthem? Or can you imagine and write/compose/illustrate another anthem for a group of people in our nation?
  6. Imagine you are someone from another planet or a wise bird flying over. What do you imagine the extraterrestrial or the bird observes, thinks, feels about your city, neighborhood, community, or our country? What would they find impressive, awesome, fun, amusing, puzzling, strange, needing improvement etc. Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to depict how the extraterrestrial views your city, neighborhood, community, or our country?
  7. What do you think or feel about the selection from the Declaration of Independence (see Appendix A)? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what you think or feel about the Declaration? Or can you imagine and write/compose/illustrate another declaration of your own for yourself, your community, or our nation in today’s world?

APPENDIX A: Selection from the Declaration of Independence

…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness … But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government…

Other People

Serving Others

“LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER” ARTS CONVERSATIONS. Isn’t it time to be working together for equity and against white supremacy in our churches, schools, and everywhere we’re connected, using the many creative gifts we have all been blessed with to transform lives and make some real changes? This topic, Other People, is one of seven sets of questions for all ages that might be used in Equity Voices arts conversations, for participants to express themselves artistically using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative means of responding, and also get to know a bit about other people participating in the conversations. Topics include Self & Family, Other People, Community & Country, Race & Justice, Values, Visions, Equity Actions. Now, during Lent, each topic includes one Scripture-based question as the first in the list.

Please create your answers/responses to these questions using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative, artistic means of responding. Then share your response online (on the equity-voices.com website) and/or with your Equity Voices group, friends, family, or other people.

OTHER PEOPLE: How do you relate to other people?

  1. SCRIPTURES: (Matthew 19:19) “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” AND (Luke 22:26) “The greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves.” Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to show how one or both of these scriptures could affect how you relate to other people and how you might love or serve them?
  2. Who are your friends and how would you describe them? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey who your friends are?
  3. Who are your neighbors? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey who is in your neighborhood and how you would describe them?
  4. Is there a person or groups of people in history or in the news you don’t like or don’t admire at all? Do you have enemies or people you don’t trust or are suspicious of, or perhaps they don’t trust or are suspicious of you? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to describe this experience of dislike, lack of trust, suspicion, or distrust?
  5. When have you felt that someone didn’t like you? Perhaps because of your race, color, cultural background, age, gender, social class, or any other reason? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey this feeling or experience of not being liked?
  6. What do you think you would do if you were alone on a desert island with someone you didn’t like or didn’t trust? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to show/describe what you and this person would do and how you would feel about it?
  7. Imagine you are inviting some person or people over to where you live, and they are very different from you. Who would you invite? Why? What would you want to do when they were with you? how would you make them comfortable or try to make sure they had a good time with you? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to show/describe what you and your guests would do? Why and how you would feel about it?

Focus on Self & Family

Build a Strong, Happy Equity Family

“LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER” ARTS CONVERSATIONS. Isn’t it time to be working together for equity and against white supremacy in our churches, schools, and everywhere we’re connected, using the many creative gifts we have all been blessed with to transform lives and make some real changes?

We’ve designed questions to help explore these equity topics. Self & Family is one of seven sets of questions for all ages that might be used in Equity Voices arts conversations, for participants to express themselves artistically using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative means of responding, and also get to know a bit about other people participating in the conversations. Other topics include Other People, Community & Country, Race & Justice, Values, Visions, Equity Actions. Now, during Lent, each topic includes one Scripture-based question as the first in the list.

Please create your answers/responses to these questions using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative, artistic means of responding. Then share your response online (on the equity-voices.com website) and/or with your Equity Voices group, friends, family, or other people.

SELF & FAMILY: Who are you and your family?

  1. SCRIPTURE: (Mark 8:27-29) “Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets. He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’” Who are you? How do you describe/define yourself? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey who you are?
  2. What are some things you like best about yourself? Are there things about yourself you’d like to change? If so, what? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey what you like best about yourself and what you might want to change?
  3. Do you know where your family came from? Other cities, states, countries, or continents? How did they live there? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey where your family came from and how they lived in the place(s) they came from?
  4. Do you have a religion or spiritual practice? Do you have a belief in God, a higher power, or other divine being? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to give a sense of or describe your religion, spirituality, God, or higher power?
  5. Who is in your family and how would you describe your family members? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to convey who is in your family and how you would describe them?
  6. Where is your home? How do you feel about your home or the place you live? Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to depict where you live, what it’s like, and how you feel about it?
  7. Imagine you are someone from another planet. What do you imagine the extraterrestrial thinks, feels about you and your family? What would they find impressive, awesome, fun, amusing, puzzling, strange, needing improvement etc. Can you use words, a story, picture, statement, song, poem, video etc. to depict how the extraterrestrial views you and your family?

Introducing Equity Voices

Expressing Equity and Peace to All the World

The Equity Voices program explores equity, justice, and peace through conversations and the arts… looking at how to bring more diversity, equity, and inclusion into every aspect of our lives. We ask how we can become more supportive of racial justice and more active in response to systemic racism and inequalities.

Isn’t it time to be working together for equity and against white supremacy in our schools, churches, homes, and everywhere we’re connected, using the many creative gifts we’ve all been blessed with to transform lives and make some real changes? Thanks for using the questions here to find and express your equity voice, and for considering our workshops as well.

This series of Equity “arts conversations” is for youth ages 10 and up, as well as teens and adults. It’s called “LET’S GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER.”

Dr. King once said,  “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” The idea is to look at equity, antiracism, and justice through responding to questions about ourselves, other people, our communities, our values etc.—and to go deeper and grow self-expression and mutual understanding through incorporating the arts.

Questions. There are seven topics/sets of questions in total: Self & Family, Other People, Community & Country, Race & Justice, Values, Visions, and Equity Actions. Each topic has at least one question relating to Scripture, but otherwise, it is  a general not specifically Christian or spiritual approach, though sharing about one’s faith, beliefs, prayers, and inspiration is always welcome! The questions lead and encourage people to express themselves artistically using words, images, photos, a video, a song or any creative means of responding to the questions and the conversations that arise.

Workshops. We also offer one online workshop per week for any seven-week block. Or fewer meetings less frequently is also possible. Plus, we feature a one-session “sample” workshop on the Equity Actions topic. Attendees will have discussion time in each workshop and additional time to create their artistic responses. Then participants take turns presenting their artistic responses and giving each other comments if feedback is desired. Participants may also share their creative responses online by emailing them to us, and they will be uploaded onto the website.

The goal throughout is to explore racial justice and equity with conversations and the arts, while making sure we communicate and get to know one another a bit too.

If you or a group/ministry at your church or school might be interested in the seven weekly workshops, a shorter series of workshops, or perhaps a single “sample” session, let us know by emailing equityvoices@gmail.com.