It’s important to consider the ways that intersections of racial identity, personal interest and capacity, and experiences with previous anti-racism work will impact the creation of your congregation’s Among Team.

Although the Among program maintains the focus on spiritual growth and development begun in Within, it is likely that some Within participants from your congregation will be more inclined to continue the personal learning and relationship building centered in the Within program, while others will be poised for the congregational systems change of Among. As you explore who might participate on your Among Team, keep this dynamic in mind, particularly for BIPOC+ participants and the multiple perspectives they may hold. Congregational systemic change work may be a passion for some BIPOC members of your congregation and not of interest to others (or not where they want to put their personal energy). Do not assume that BIPOC Within alums (or any BIPOC members of your congregation) will want to participate on the Among Team just because it is focused on anti-racism work. In fact, they may intentionally choose not to participate because of its focus. It’s important to check in and trust people to know what they need to do.

It is not uncommon for BIPOC congregants and religious professionals to report increased incidences of racism in congregations that are actively digging into anti-racism learning and change work, as the status quo and norms of the system are disrupted. In recognition of this challenging dynamic, Beloved Conversations offers free registration in our Within: Gathering Our Selves program to BIPOC+ congregants and religious professionals in any congregation participating in Among, as a form of support and community building and to offer BIPOC folks in Among congregations access to chaplaincy services through Within.