As part of the UMC's Dismantling Racism campaign, the denomination has been sponsoring a series of virtual panel discussions on aspects of race and racism. The most recent panel, on "The Theological Roots of Racism and Colonialism" was held on Sept. 16th.
The panel featured Rev. Dr. Mai-Ahn Le Tran of Garrett-Evangelical Seminary, Rev. Dr. Edgardo Colón-Emeric of Duke Divinity School, and Rev. Dr. Willie James Jennings of Yale Divinity School as panelists.The panel was moderated by Rev. Erin Hawkins, former General Secretary of the UMC's General Commission on Religion and Race.
The panel reflected on the ways in which theology and race intersect in the US context but put this discussion in larger contexts of colonialism and World Christianity. Panelists tied racism within the US to patterns of colonialism overseas and lifted up learning from world Christian perspectives as a means to decenter whiteness in American Christianity. The panel, which lasted about an hour, is well worth watching for these and other insights on the topic.
The panel can be viewed online here. There is also a UMNS story summarizing the townhall.