Social Justice Ministry (SJM)
Social Justice Ministry (SJM)Working to foster understanding within our community
Get Involved: Study, Discuss, Take Action
The Social Justice Ministry has been busy studying, meeting on Zoom, and planning for parish activities and engagement. We remain committed to our primary focus on racism in America: as America’s “original sin,” racism calls out most urgently to be confronted. As SJM grows at St. Andrew’s, we hope to be able to expand to other areas of injustice and oppression which we know also need attention, but for now we discern that addressing racism is our calling.
March 15, 2023: SJM at the "Honor With Action: Rally for Gun Safety" at the Capitol
SJM's Little Known Black History Month
February 26, 2023
On this day (February 26) in 1869, the 15th Amendment was passed granting Black men the right to vote.
“Black History Month” originated in 1915 when Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Dr. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in 1926. He chose a week in February because February included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas who he felt were key to African American history. In 1975 President Ford issued a “Message on the Observance of Black History Week”. In 1986 Congress passed Public Law 99-244 which designated February, 1986 as “National Black History Month.” Since 1996 presidents have issued annual proclamations declaring February as “Black History Month.”
February 19, 2023
On this day (February 19) in 1942, the Tuskegee Airman, the only Black group of military pilots during WWII, were incorporated into the United States Army Air Corp. Also known as “The Red Tails”, they formed the 332 Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group.
Absalom Jones was born into slavery on November 17, 1746. Upon gaining his freedom he became an abolitionist and clergyman in Philadelphia. Faced with racial discrimination at the local Methodist church, he founded the Free African Society with his friend and collaborator, Richard Allen in 1787, a nondenominational mutual aid society for newly freed slaves, where Jones also held religious services. In 1794 Jones founded the first black Episcopal congregation, and in 1802 he was ordained as the first African American priest in the American Episcopal Church. Jones and Allen separated and Allen founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), the first independent black church within the Methodist tradition. They however remained lifelong friends. Jones died on February 13, 1818.
February 12, 2023
On this day (February 12) in 1909, The National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, (NAACP) was founded.
Althea Gibson was a professional tennis player and golfer. In 1956 she crossed the color barrier and became the first African American to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament, the French Open. The following year she won Wimbledon and the US Open and won them again in 1958. In 1960 she was the first Black woman to compete in the Women’s Professional Golf Tour. She was a woman of many talents. She recorded a record in 1959, sang on the Ed Sullivan Show, appeared in a movie, and was a sports commentator. Althea Gibson died in Great Orange, New Jersey, in 2003.
February 5, 2023
On this day (February 5) in 1990, Barack Obama was elected the first Black President of the Harvard Law Review. The Harvard Law Review is one of the oldest law journals in the United States.
The first electric roller coaster was invented by Granville T. Woods. Woods was born on April 23, 1856. He was the first African American mechanical and electrical engineer after the civil war. He also invented the egg incubator and a telegraph system that allowed train stations to communicate with moving trains to avoid accidents. Thomas Edison sued Woods to get the patents for the telegraph system, but Woods prevailed and kept his patents. At the time of his death on January 30, 1910, Granville T. Woods held over 60 patents. - Carol Bennett
SJM Resource List
SJM has created a resource list of books, articles, movies, and other media on a variety of Social Justice topics.
View the SJM Resource List
Resource Suggestions Needed!
Did you just read an interesting social justice related book? Is there an episode of a podcast that you just can't stop thinking about? Want to tell everyone about the compelling movie you just watched? SJM would love to hear your suggestions for their SJM Resource List!
Please use our SJM Resource List Submission Form to let the committee know of any books, articles, movies, or other media you think should be added to the list. Please give the author's full name and the full title of the work; include a URL if a website is involved. SJM will review all suggestions before adding them to the SJM Resource List.
Resources for Direct Action
Want to take action other than study and discussion?
Consider supporting Black-owned businesses by shopping, opening a bank account, or investing. SJM has put together a list of local and web-based businesses to give you ideas. The list will be revised and added to as we learn more.
Black Owned Businesses in Ann Arbor
Know a Black-owned business that should be on the list?
Let us know: email Donna Wessel Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the details.
The Social Justice Ministry at St. Andrew's was established in 2018. Thus far, our mission has been to foster a greater understanding of the roots and complexities of black and white relations in Ann Arbor and to inspire action in the Ann Arbor community that would result in addressing racism in Ann Arbor.
SJM sponsors a variety of events throughout the year. Recent events have included the 2018-2019 discussion series 'Black and White in Ann Arbor,' a 2019 walking tour of the underground railroad in Ann Arbor, co-sponsoring a Washtenaw Reads 2020 book discussion on "Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen" by Jose Antonio Vargas, Election Prayer Vigils and Discussion Spaces, and book discussions on Robin DiAngelo’s "White Fragility" and "STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You," by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds. In 2022, SJM sponsored two Lenten Series events: "Bearing Witness: the making of a Black Forensic Psychologist" with parishioner Dr. George Watson, Jr. and "A Liturgy of Remembrance and Reconciliation" service to remember those Black Lives lost to police violence.
Prayer for Social Justice
Grant O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.