What Does it Mean to Be White?
An Anti-Racism Training Series

Due to overwhelming interest in the “What Does It Mean To Be White?” antiracist training session, the application for this session of the course has closed early. If you are interested in joining a future session of the course and would like to be informed when the next session is scheduled, please join the waitlist.

Future sessions of the course will include evening times and are scheduled to begin sometime in late summer or early fall.

More About the Course

The course curriculum was developed by Dr. Ben Boswell, pastor of congregational partner Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. This course was inspired by Dr. Boswell’s life experiences as a white father struggling to raise a Black daughter and as a white pastor struggling to lead predominantly white congregations in their pursuit of racial justice in an era of colorblind racism, resurging white supremacy, and Black Lives Matter. The intersection of these two struggles led Dr. Boswell to become dissatisfied with the way conversations about race and racism in white settings are often shallow and ineffective. Through a qualitative research process, Dr. Boswell discovered that by inviting white people to confront whiteness through the writings and films of Black authors, intellectuals, and creatives in a small group circle of trust with practices of meditation and mindfulness, people racialized as white were able to see themselves with new eyes and transform dramatically from colorblind racism to take deeper responsibility for racial justice. 

The current session of the course is being facilitated by Alliance members and retired clergy, Mahan Siler and Nancy Hastings Sehested. We hope to make this an ongoing offering of the Alliance of Baptists as we continue our work to become an antiracist organization.

Want to know more about the development of the course? Click here.

Meet the Facilitators

Rev. Nancy Hastings Sehested recently retired as co-pastor of Circle of Mercy, a Baptist and UCC church in Asheville, North Carolina. After serving for thirteen years as a prison chaplain, she authored Marked for Life, which chronicles the misery and miracles she witnessed in the lives of those impacted by our country’s mass incarceration system. Rev. Hastings Sehested is a graduate of the City College of New York and of Union Theological Seminary. The mother of two daughters, she lives in Asheville with her husband Rev. Ken Sehested.

Rev. Mahan Siler is a retired Baptist pastor and a founder of the Alliance of Baptists. He lives in Western North Carolina near his family and worships at Circle of Mercy. He blogs regularly at http://www.mahansiler.com and welcomes readers!