Minister’s Moment, January 2020
For the last few years here at Peoples Church we have been focusing our social justice efforts on understanding and dismantling racism and white supremacy culture. Our Social Justice Team has led the way, inviting us to read, reflect, and learn more about whiteness and racism, wrestle with our own role(s) in a racist society, and prepare to be more thoughtful, skilled anti-racists and accomplices for justice in the wider world.
And now we have an opportunity to act.
A few months ago, Rev. Leoma Leigh-Williams of Bethel AME Church, the oldest African American church in Cedar Rapids, approached me and asked if Peoples Church would be willing to partner with them to revive an historic, cross-cultural event: The Allen Lincoln Douglass Banquet.
Begun as a partnership between Bethel AME Church and the First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids in 1927, the banquet was celebrated for decades but then fell into a period of dormancy. Pastor Leoma resurrected the event in February 2019 with a renewed focus on bringing people together across barriers of race, class, and faith.
The 2020 banquet is scheduled for Saturday, February 8, at the IBEW Hall, 1211 Wiley Boulevard SW, beginning at 4 PM. The theme will be “Unity in the Community…. Reaching Across Barriers!” The keynote speaker will be Iowa State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad with music provided by local artist DaMu Diaz Doolin.
Peoples Church, along with Christ Episcopal Church, is officially partnering with Bethel AME to host this event. We will be a sponsor, and with your help, we will show up in large numbers to support cross-cultural unity!
Our goal is to have 75 Peoples people attend this event. What do you think? Will you be a part of this historic moment? Will you attend the 2020 Allen Lincoln Douglas Banquet?
Individual tickets are $60, tables for 8 are $480, and both are available on the Bethel AME website here if you click on “Register Now.” I also have a stack of paper tickets in my office which I would be happy to sell you in person anytime.
Proceeds from the event will support local social service agencies. As always, money should not be a barrier for anyone who wants to attend. Simply let me know if you would request a reduced-priced or comp ticket.
I hope to see you there! Let’s start 2020 on a high note in the greater CR community