Conference to help attendees deepen resourcing for being awake human beings

by Amy N. Canosa

As I continue to watch the news and reflect on what’s happening in our world, I find myself feeling angry, depressed and some days deeply despairing. I continue to feel anger that as a white woman I am tied to a whole lot of other white women who seem to see the world as radically different than I do. It has been difficult at times to know how to engage or respond to some of what I’m hearing, and it’s been hard to know where to look for or enact hope.

One thing that is helping to counter some of my general sense of angst is knowing that in a few short weeks I will gather together with colleagues and friends to engage in more reflective work around issues of white supremacy. On Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10 the Alliance of Baptists Community of Practice will gather together at First Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga. for a workshop entitled “Re-connection and Re-creation: Toward More Just Education and Ministries.”

During our two days together we will be taking a closer look at how white supremacist enculturation shapes us all and how to be engaged in the lifelong work of resisting and dismantling the structures of that enculturation. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity through pre-work and workshop learning experiences to deepen our spiritual resourcing for being awake learners, educators and human beings. White supremacy severs our connections to our rootedness and our Christian identity. In this workshop, through teaching and practicing, ritual and art, we will begin to re-connect to what roots us and to re-create ourselves as more just and more alive human creatures. Our facilitators for this event will be two of our ACPE certified educator colleagues, Malu Fairley-Collins and Tammerie Day.

I am excited for this opportunity to engage with friends and colleagues around these important issues and themes. I recognize I am in need of challenge. I want honest conversations that invite me to deeper awareness of the ways I’m complicit and the ways I am acting as a change agent. I believe that for me to better care and come alongside my students and patients in the hospital context I need to be aware of my biases and to be intentional in my language as I engage people who hold different views than myself.

A desire for more engagement around these issues is shared by many in our community. This is largely why this workshop is happening! The Alliance Community of Practice is made up of ACPE certified educators who are endorsed by the Alliance of Baptists, as well as educators and other spiritual care professionals who may be endorsed by other religious bodies but who appreciate the theological underpinnings of the Alliance. We are a group that desires to gather with peers to explore how our theology informs our practice. We hope this event leads to many more opportunities for this Community of Practice to engage in meaningful dialogue and reflection around how our faith informs our practice. If you are an educator, chaplain or spiritual care professional, it’s not too late to sign up!  To register, go to

Amy N. Canosa is an Alliance-endorsed chaplain and an ACPE certified educator in the Department of Chaplain Services and Education at Duke Raleigh Hospital in Raleigh, N.C.

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