The West Mission Area Commission for Racial Understanding (CRU) recently wrapped up its Winter Series with a presentation at St. Timothy's, Perrysburg entitled Race and the Criminal Justice System: A Conversation. Attendees screened excerpts from the documentary film 13th and engaged in group discussions, moderated by University of Toledo law professor Shelley Cavalieri (a member of St. Andrew's, Toledo).
The West Mission Area CRU began several years ago as a way for the Toledo area Episcopal churches to engage in a more locally focused discussion. What started as simple gatherings and conversations has grown into a format of church hosted events which are free and open to the public.
Since 2016, the West Mission Area CRU has been presenting three fall and three winter events each year. They are varied in subject, scope, and format, such as: watching and discussing short films; panel discussions featuring local professionals and academics; a multicultural children's storytelling day, and a refugee welcome party. Past topics included talking with children about race, institutional racism, empowering loving responses to racism, and the criminal justice system.
All are intended to educate, challenge, and inspire honest conversation. While these events are planned and presented by local Episcopal churches, more and more participants, on both sides of the microphone, are representative of the broad social, ethnic, and cultural diversity we strive to address.