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January 27, 2017

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Feb. 1-28 is Black History month

Black History month is here. As you look for appropriate ways to celebrate this month, consider the following bucket list, as a resource for the month of February. Items listed, not in order of importance simply provide opportunities. Many of these ideas will encourage you when interacting with people from many different ethnic groups.

  1. Do lunch with a coworker or student of a different ethnicity with no agenda other than getting to know each other better. Plan 90 minutes.
  2. Read a book over the next 30 days by an author from a different ethnicity than your own. A few African American authors I enjoy are; Dr. Tony Evans,  Mrs. Trillia Newbell, Pastor Bryan Loritts, Pastor Crawford Loritts, Dr. Charles Ware or Dr. John Perkins.
  3. Attend a church service where you would be a minority. Go alone and go when you are not speaking, teaching or leading. Simply attend.
  4. Go to the movies with members of a different people group and do dinner afterwards. Examples might be; Hidden Figures, Fences, Loving, Mr. Church, Collateral Beauty or Madiba. Hold all comments until after the movie. Whoever is the minority in your group should share their thoughts about the movie first.
  5. Read Acts Chapter 10 in a devotional style for encouragement in February.
  6. Visit an African American historical site. Examples; National African American Museum in Wilberforce OH., African American Museum in Washington, DC or The National Underground Railroad museum in Cincinnati, OH.
  7. Spend a day listening to music that is ethnically different from your own.
  8. Cook a meal using authentic ingredients bought at an ethnic store. Share the meal with others and plan time for discussion together.
  9. Plan a get together with someone from another ethnicity that you have known for more than 5 years. Listen while they share about their lives
  10. Visit www.withoutsanctuary.org This site, is detailed and describes history that may prove difficult to see. caution should be used.
  11. Invite yourself to someone’s home from a different ethnicity. Plan a few hours- low agenda other than deepening your relationship together.
  12. As God allows, privately journal some of the happenings but avoid sharing details on social media for 45 days related to the things above. Allow Black History Month to pass before discussing your actions on social media.

There is no magic in this list. I am African American. I’m other things too. A father a husband, a car enthusiast. I’d encourage you, especially at this time in history to learn of “the other” in a new and deepening way. As a Christian, I’m hopeful that simple steps of understanding might help bridge gaps that we have and open the door to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ is ways that we’ve never imagined. In Christ there is no East and West, there is no North or South.

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