Chapter Meeting Thursday November 12 – What Is Life Like for an African American in Austin in the 21st Century?

noracism (1)Come to the November meeting of the Rio Texas chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action to get a glimpse of reality for our black sisters and brothers.  A panel of three African-American United Methodists (Willie Johnson, Adama Brown, and Jarell Wilson) have agreed to talk about some of their personal encounters with racism in recent years.  Under the skilled facilitation of Jeremy Solomons (,  the panelists will educate all of us about the discrimination and prejudice they continue to experience.

Please join as we continue our focus on Racism and White Privilege.

The program will be at Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road, on Thursday, November 12 beginning at 7:00p.  Come at 6:30p for snacks and mingling.

Spread the word…………all are welcome!

Allies Against Slavery Events

 Happy Hour with Alisa Jordheim

Thursday, November 12, 2015

4:00pm  6:00pm

Vulcan Gas Company

Join us for Happy Hour to meet Alisa Jordheim, the executive director of Justice Society and author of Made in the USA: The Sex Trafficking of America’s Children. Alisa will present and have copies of her book available to sell. Members of Allies Against Slavery, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International will be present to participate in Q&As and discussion.

Tickets are $20 and include two drinks and appetizers. Nonprofit and government workers will receive a special $10 discount.


 6th Annual Christmas Market

Saturday, December 5, 2015

9:00am  4:00pm

Shop responsibly with us this holiday season at our free, public event! The Christmas Market features 25+ fair trade, direct trade, and social enterprise merchants who use their businesses to promote employment and well-being for people in Austin and around the world.


Local and socially-conscious vendors offer art, jewelry, music, clothing, purses/bags, toys, cosmetics, coffee, paper goods, housewares, photo prints, and much more.

For more information, visit our web page:


TCADP – Common Ground for Texans

“Advocating positive solutions through civil engagement”

What: Considering the Death Penalty in Texas and the US
When: Saturday, November 7th, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
Where: Yarborough Library, 2200 Hancock Dr, Austin TX (see map)

Join Common Ground for Texans at our next meeting, Saturday, November 7, for a discussion of the death penalty in America — an issue that has received increased attention in recent months, with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer saying, “it’s time to revisit the issue” and President Obama also publicly questioning its application.

We’ll consider whether elected judges are more likely to impose the death penalty, whether racial biases in the justice system result in the death penalty being disproportionately used against people of color, and other questions. As always, we strive to discuss contentious issues with civility and respect for differing opinions.

We’ll hear from Les Breeding of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and hopefully from an advocate for the death penalty (TBD). It should be a lively discussion — we hope you can join us!

MFSA Announces Shoe Drive

MFSA Announces Shoe Drive Drop Locations

The Rio Texas chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) is sponsoring a SHOE DRIVE to benefit Redemptive Work, a nonprofit housed at Parker Lane UMC in southeast Austin (  RW is part of a social enterprise plugging people into jobs here in Austin and in other countries.

The shoes will be sent to poor communities around the world where they will be repaired, cleaned, and distributed to those in need, or broken into raw materials for micro-industries.  From the revenue earned for donating the shoes, RW will fund its services to the displaced in the Austin area, such as financial management training, job services networking, computer training, cultural coaching, subsidizing of employment opportunities, transportation solutions, and English language practice in professional settings.

Please band your gently used shoes together in pairs and drop them off at Saint John’s UMC, 2140 Allandale Road or Parker Lane UMC, 2105 Parker Lane any time between now and November 22.

It’s a win/win/win situation:  free up some space in your closet by donating shoes you no longer wear, fund services for the down-and-out in the Austin area, and create jobs for the destitute in poor communities around the globe.

Contact Anne Mund (512-343-0803, or Rev. Dr. Mindy Johnson-Hicks (806-252-1534,

Vital Conversations on Racism with Dr. Robin DiAngelo

The General Commission on Religion and Race has just begun a powerful video series about racial justice, diversity, and effectiveness in your congregation or community.  GCORR began this series In October with Dr. Robin DiAngelo. Watch the first video here.

The UMC looks to GCORR to facilitate, resource, guide, and support discussions on how to move to efficacy, justice, and courageous, positive action.  It is our hope that these videos transform lives, congregations, and communities.  Participation in our Vital Conversations: A Video Series will jumpstart the conversation about racial justice, diversity, and effectiveness in your congregation or community. GCORR begins this series with Dr. Robin DiAngelo.

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is the author of What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy and has been an anti-racist educator, and has heard justifications of racism by white men and women in her workshops for over two decades.  This justification, which she calls “white fragility,” is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.  These moves include outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation.


From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces: A New Way to Frame Dialogue Around Diversity and Social Justice, by Brian Arao and Kristi Clemens. This text explores the practices of establishing guidelines for conversations that seek to promote diversity and racial justice activities.

Conversation Guide for Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity by Shakti Butler, PhD. This conversation guide and glossary is designed to support organizations that are using this film to introduce the concept of systemic inequity to a diverse audience and deepened the conversation on race.

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander.

The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege, by Robert Jensen.

The Strange Career of Jim Crow, by C. Vann Woodward.

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise demonstrates the ways in which racism not only burdens people of color, but also benefits, in relative terms, those who are “white like him.” Wise explores the ways in which whites can challenge their unjust privileges, and explains in clear and convincing language why it is in the best interest of whites themselves to do so.

The movie, White Like Me, shown at the October MFSA meeting, is available to use with your Sunday School class or other group. It is very informative about how white privilege is embedded in our institutions and systems. Contact Anne Mund at if you are interested in borrowing the movie.

Immigration Discussion at First UMC Austin

“Forgotten Citizens: Deportation, Children,
and the Making of American Exiles and Orphans”

WHEN:  November 8, 2015 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

WHERE: First UMC – Austin – Murchison Chapel: 1201 Lavaca St Austin TX 78701

Presented by Dr. Luis Zayas, Dean of the School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin. Children born in the United States are citizens under the Constitution.  But children born to undocumented immigrant parents do not fully enjoy the benefits of citizenship or the feeling they belong.  Dean Zayas will discuss his book on the topic during this 90 minute presentation.  Books will be available for purchase, but purchase is not required to attend the presentation.

Austin Interfaith News

Austin Interfaith2Wine & Cheese Fundraiser

Saturday, November 14, 2015 at 05:00 PM · $20.00 USD

360 Condominiums in Austin, TX

buy tickets


Austin Interfaith Leaders Meeting

Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 07:00 PM

St. Albert the Great Catholic Church in Austin, TX