America in Crisis

White Silence, Black Suffering, Protest, and Transformation

6 sessions

A six-session workshop focusing on confronting what’s happening, understanding what’s brought us to this moment, leading through possible paths forward, and offering resources for response.

In the summer of 2020, as people took to the streets and America wrestled with questions of racism and its horrific impact on our society, we gathered our faculty to lead us in a study of how racism might be addressed by communities of faith. This course was initially released as a “live” series, where participants could directly ask questions via email and through live discussion events presented over Zoom. The problem of racism is not going away, however, and we feel that it is important that these discussions continue. The materials presented here can be used to stimulate your mind and call you to action, but we also believe that this should not be an individual task. Please consider ways through which you can use these sessions as a jumping-off point for your own response to racism and the faith issues it raises.

Session Links

Click a session title to go to that session’s webpage.

If you are leading a group discussion, please watch the video offered for each session AHEAD of the meeting time for that session.

Session One

“How I Was Trained to Be Quiet (and What Caused Me to Speak): White Silence from a Do-Gooder Christian Perspective” 

Dr. Laura Levens

Session Two

“We Won’t Take It Any Longer: Understanding the 2020 Black Protest Movement”

Dr. Lewis Brogdon

Session Three

“We Know Their Names: The Power of Reading Black History Together”

Dr. John Inscore Essick

Session Four

“Did I Read It Right?: Reading Scripture and the Road Out of Southern White Supremacy”

Dr. Dalen Jackson

Session Five

“God Loves Blackness: Unlearning Whiteness and Building Habits of True Solidarity”

Dr. Mark Medley

Session Six

“Transforming Power: Biblical Strategies to Move out of White Supremacy and into Shalom Community”

Dr. Angela Cowser, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Dr. Laura Levens

Assistant Professor of Christian Mission

Dr. Levens oversees course development and teaching for the department of Christian Mission. She teaches a Foundations of Christian Mission Course, exploring biblical, theological, and historical aspects of mission practice as well as mission elective courses based on student interest in topics like Social Justice, Global Christianity, Women’s Experience, Leadership and Wisdom, and Biblical Interpretation.

Her scholarly interests include Christian missions history, women in Christian history, biblical interpretation, justice and transformation, and theology and practice of mission. She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Missiology, the Conference on Faith and History, American Baptist Historical Society, and the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion.

Dr. Levens is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and is ordained through the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. She has served in various Kentucky, Texas, and North Carolina congregations and para-church ministries as associate minister, youth work, camp and retreat staff, preacher, teacher, and advocate for the rural homeless. She currently serves as the volunteer Children’s Sunday school coordinator for Central Baptist Church in Lexington, KY.

Dr. Lewis Brogdon

Research Professor of Black Church Studies and Preaching

Dr. Lewis Brogdon has served in numerous positions in undergraduate and graduate institutions as a professor – Assistant Professor of New Testament and Black Church Studies at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary and Religion and Biblical Studies at Claflin University, and an Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Bluefield College. He also served those institutions as an administrator – the founding director of Louisville Presbyterian Seminary’s Black Church Studies Program, Provost at Simmons College of Kentucky and Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Research at Bluefield College. Brogdon is the author of several books including A Companion to Philemon (Cascade 2018), The Spirituality of Black Preaching (Seymour Press 2016) and others.

Dr. Brogdon is also a popular preacher, lecturer, and panelist. He has lectured at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, the Interdenominational Theological Center, the University of Chicago Divinity School, Claflin University, and Radford University on nihilism in black America. He was the keynote speaker at a city wide Martin Luther King dinner in Dayton OH, and received an invitation to the White House in 2014. Brogdon is an ordained minister of twenty six years and has pastored churches in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

flourish courses

Flourish courses offer great learning opportunities around key topics designed to help equip church leaders for vibrant ministry. These short-term courses are offered online and are affordable.

upcoming courses

Additional Flourish Courses are coming! Plan to register for new courses as they are made available.