Hot Topics: Race & Faith (ACCEPTING WAITLIST)

18:30 - 21:30
Oct 3rd 2017

This participatory evening dialogue creates a space for activists, scholars, policymakers and faith communities to engage questions of race and faith together. Registration for this event is now full! Please email to be added to our waitlist.

For more information contact us.
Sorry, this event is now sold out.

This event is now fully booked.  If you would like to be added to a waitlist, please email Claire Doran at

“There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

– Audre Lorde

Where are the spaces for conversations about ‘race’ within interfaith?  In what ways is it challenging to talk about ‘faith’ in conversations about ‘race’ and in anti-racist organizing?

While the concepts of ‘race’, ‘faith’ and ‘religion and belief have complex relationships and intertwined history, they are often addressed separately.  This separate focus can make it harder to understand their common roots in the colonial encounter, and how this plays out in contemporary Britain, undermining the potential for understanding, solidarity and collaboration within and between groups.

This participatory evening dialogue creates a space for activists, scholars, policymakers and faith communities to engage questions of race and faith together.  Facilitated by Deborah Grayson and Tamanda Walker, we will draw on participant experiences to engage some of the most pressing questions for a post-Brexit Britain, characterized by rising Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-blackness.

  • Where are the spaces for conversations about ‘race’ within interfaith?
  • In what ways is it challenging to talk about ‘faith’ in conversations about ‘race’ and in anti-racist organizing?
  • How can we ensure humanizing engagement with the reality of our complex individual identities?  Can we do this in a way that neither undermines collective solidarity nor obscures inequalities within, between and across groups?
  • How can we move beyond understanding, cohesion, and empathy, and towards social justice?
  • What are the possibilities and limits for understanding, collaboration and solidarity for groups working within, between and across these spaces?

We warmly welcome participants from a wide range of backgrounds.  This discussion may be particularly relevant for those with backgrounds in interfaith, peacebuilding and reconciliation, ministry, and those with an interest in decoloniality, afropessimism, critical theory, intersectionality, whiteness and postcolonial studies.

Tamanda Walker (Facilitator)

Born and raised in Southern Africa during apartheid, and Northern Ireland during ‘the Troubles’, Tamanda is an independent consultant/facilitator and PhD researcher working on issues of identity and inclusion within education, employment and community settings. She is particularly interested in issues of race, faith, religion and belief and committed to exploring the potential for critical, anti-racist and feminist scholarship to proactively inform, shape and contribute to more equitable institutions/societies.

Her professional background  includes work within youth and community settings, the justice system, equalities and diversity and interfaith and intercultural programming. Her educational experience includes an MSc in ‘Education, Power & Social Change’ from Birkbeck University and a PhD at Leeds University which explores how employers within ‘secular’ public and private sector institutions are engaging with and mediating conflicts connected with religion and belief, especially as they intersect with questions of race, class, gender and sexuality.

Deborah Grayson (Facilitator)

Deborah is an activist and academic completing her PhD based on research with interfaith charity 3FF. She has been involved in political campaigning and organising in London for nearly a decade, starting out looking at single issues like climate change, democratic reform and media reform, before moving more recently into work rooted in a broader understanding of the ongoing impacts of colonialism, slavery and other systems of oppression.

She has a keen interest in political histories and intergenerational learning, co-founding a project to engage current Londoners with the story of the Greater London Council of the 1980s; the oral histories and archive materials encountered here have helped her to build a stronger understanding of the histories of antiracist, feminist and queer activism in the city, as well as how ideas of ‘race’ and ‘faith’ have changed and evolved in recent decades. Her academic and personal thinking explores the relationships between different kinds of knowledge – including spiritual and embodied ways of knowing – and how connecting these knowledges might open up possibilities for societal transformation.

“Imagine a world in which everyone could take the perspective of everyone else. Of course agreeing with each other about everything is neither possible nor ideal. But being able to understand, at least to some extent, what each other thinks, feels, and believes about something, and why, is the foundation of a world without war. However, agreeing with each other about everything always is not the root of peace. Rather, learning to live with our differences, and deeply hear and understand them, is.”

– Jay Rothman

When differences deepen and escalate into polarised social division, it gets more difficult to disagree constructively and engage sincerely.  We get stuck in patterns, only engaging diverse views in adversarial debate or speaking into echo chambers.  How can we come together in ways that open up understanding and empathy, rather than increasing blame, anger and resentment?  What are the gritty and difficult conversations we collectively need to begin?

At St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, we’re creating spaces for participatory community dialogue where conflict can become cooperation, and separation can be come collaboration.  We’re exploring new ways to meet complexity and diversity constructively in an increasingly divided world.

This fall, we’re bringing in community facilitators to crack open hot topics from their communities and bring us together for intimate evenings of personal sharing and creative dialogue.  Join us in bringing disparate groups together in dialogue to confront urgent and pressing questions.

October 3rd         Race & Faith

October 10th       Women in diaspora & peace