Practical understanding of who others are in the backgrounds/cultures they come from IS A BIG DEAL because you can never do the following:
(1) Equip someone you do not understand how they are designed and what battles they have to face,
(2) Empower someone who you don’t see/acknowledge
(3) Release someone into their destiny without having an understanding of what they have to deal with……and what God has called them to be released into so that they can bring life where they are.
As my home fellowship of ARISE: Life has a desire to not be monoculture and truly multiracial (and yet focused on seeing complexity in the stories of others rather than looking at shades alone), there is a need to ensure that people know the complex backgrounds surrounding the stories that have developed.
The group format is also centered on LETTING PEOPLE TELL THEIR STORY for what it is. People from Black culture sharing freely why they experienced what they did – and others doing likewise in White culture. The focus is centered on learning HOW to have a conversation….and keep the conversation going so that people don’t avoid things which may seem uncomfortable for them – missing an opportunity to connect with others in ways that will allow for people to be receptive in being empowered.
The heart of this focuses on Jesus in John 4 who came to the Samaritan woman – did not take the route by going AROUND Samaria – and risked a conversation for the sake of a connection on common ground.