By Rev. Denise Gillard
IN MY ROLE AS A PASTOR AND EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR of The HopeWorks Connection, a Christian non-profit organization dedicated to empowering youth through the performing arts, academics and relieving poverty, I have been working with racialized children and youth and the people who love them for over 30 years. It is in this setting I have called youth to live and move and claim their being in the context of a church that many times fails to address or otherwise admit to the complex and challenging realities they face, most especially when it comes to dealing with racism. The subject of racism is a touchy one for Canadians as a whole, taboo for the Christian community and therefore, in the church the intricate psychological, sociological, cultural and spiritual dynamics of their stories are silenced.