Plans continue developing for this year’s Presbyterian Week of Action, slated August 23-29, 2021, to lift up not only Black Lives Matter but also other marginalized groups who have been the target of hatred and discrimination.
“Shades of Oppression, Resistance and Liberation” is the theme of the event being coordinated by the Rev. Shanea D. Leonard with direction from the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Bearing Witness team and other interested parties.
The Week of Action, which made its debut last year amid a rash of racialized violence including the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, is meant to be a visible arm of justice throughout the denomination as the PC(USA) stands on the foundations of the Matthew 25 invitation and the Hands & Feet initiative.
An overview about the Week of Action – including comments by Rev. Leonard who is an associate for gender and racial justice in the PC(USA) Office of Gender, Racial & Intercultural Justice – was published online June 17, 2021, by Darla Carter of the Presbyterian News Service.
Week of Action events will be offered both virtually and, potentially, in person, and are crafted to bring attention and action to the plight of those suffering from differing forms of oppressive situations. Specific times and details about each day’s events will be available here soon but organizers already have named a different focus for each day and defined some activities, including:
- Monday, August 23 – “Middle East Peace. . . Our Peace” with a story time for kids, a discussion about issues and varying facts about existing concerns.
- Tuesday, August 24 – “Vivencias Hispano-Latinas: Unidad en Cristo” AND “Systemic and Racialized Poverty” with a Zoom connection to the Poor People’s Campaign plus other actions and campaigns.
- Wednesday, August 25 – “LGBTQIA+ Resilience” with a livestreamed morning chapel service, a Drag Storytime, a Story & Poetry slam with both live and pre-recorded pieces, and related “Did you know?” facts on social media.
- Thursday, August 26 – “No More Stolen Relatives: Murdered Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People” with publications including educational material and liturgy resources, statements from Indigenous women and an opportunity to advocate for legislation to help address this reality.
- Friday, August 27 – “AAPI Resilience, Resistance, Power & Affirmation” with storytelling, historical inquiry and multiple forms of media to raise awareness and develop strategies toward ending violence and hatred towards Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
- Saturday, August 28 – “Black Lives Matter” with information shared on social media, a multi-generational conversation about what liberation looks like, a multi-city concert live and online, and virtual conversations about economic inequities.
- Sunday, August 29 – “Gun Violence Response and Recognition” with worship resources made available in advance plus a vesper service at 5 p.m. for a commemoration of those lost to gun violence and an action commitment to end gun violence.