Santa Monica’s Black Apology: What does it mean for 2023?

Kicking off the New Year on a positive note, the Jan. 8 workshop of the Committee for Racial Justice will return to in person meetings at Virginia Ave. Park and will have the Black Apology by the City of Santa Monica as its topic. If you haven’t seen it, it can be viewed on the Santa Monica City Council website under their meeting agendas – Nov. 29, item 4A. Refreshments provided (potlucks will be postponed until the covid/flu season is over) at 6 pm and program start at 6:30 pm Listen to a reading of this city council resolution, hear brief comments on the concept of apology and then, after Q & A, have time in small groups to brainstorm and prioritize ideas for how Santa Monica city council can (in the words of the resolution) “rectify the lingering consequences of discriminatory city policies”. These small group discussions will focus on three arenas: Housing, Economic opportunities, and Education.

The speaker that evening, the Rev. Rebecca Benefiel Bijur, will share her perspectives on the concept of apology, followed by a participatory group discussion on how we feel the apology can be transformed into actions that would be meaningful and helpful to people.

Rev. Bijur serves as the Affiliated Community Minister of Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church in Canoga Park and is a frequent guest preacher at UU congregations across Southern California. She served as Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica from 2010-2017. Rev. Bijur is raising three children with her husband in Santa Monica and works with St. Joseph Center in Venice to advance social and economic equity for people experiencing homelessness.

Everyone is welcome to the Jan. 8 workshop that will kick off CRJ’s 2023 programming. It will take place at 6:30 pm in the community meeting room of the Thelma Terry Building at Virginia Avenue Park. For those unable to join in person, register with the following link in order to be sent the link to share virtually:—ppjkrGNAhO5ryCvXHiSC5Twqk4GOB

This is part of an ongoing monthly workshop series sponsored by the Committee For Racial Justice.

Submitted by Joanne Berlin

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