With the close of the school year, we celebrate the successes of TRUTH Cafe Season 1, our racial equity workshop in partnership with the Western NC Conference (WNCC) of the United Methodist Church. Through the generosity of The Duke Endowment and WNCC Justice and Reconciliation Team, sixteen communities in western North Carolina hosted TRUTH Cafes, planned by 45 churches of different ethnicity involving over 600 participants. The partnering churches in each community developed action plans in answer to the question, "What are specific actions that our congregations can take to tear down racial walls and build a more inclusive community for racial equity?" Teams continue to meet to plan joint worship services, combine community events, and collaborate on mission projects. The most important outcomes are the strong bonds of relationship that have formed between people who didn't know each other before they met at the TRUTH Cafe.
So what's next? After taking a summer break, we will continue offering TRUTH Cafes in the fall to communities who want to begin a journey towards racial equity. The UMC General Board of Church and Society has provide funding to offset the costs of the workshop. We also have faith communities outside of the United Methodist Church interested in hosting TRUTH Cafes. Another successful outcome is the launch of a Racial Equity Task Force through the WNCC to address systemic and institutional inequities in our churches and communities. We are proud and humbled to be a part of this critical movement at this moment in North Carolina!