White Like Her: My Family’s Story of Race and Racial Passing by Gail Lukasik (2017)
Curiosity prompted Gail Lukasik to get a copy of her mother’s birth certificate. She was jarred to find out her mother was probably of mixed race. Haunted by her mother’s fear and shame when she confronted her, the author embarks on a quest to uncover her mother’s racial lineage, tracing her family back to eighteenth-century colonial Louisiana. Meticulously researched, this book offers new insights into issues surrounding the complex history of racial passing in the United States. The narrative is made compelling by Ms. Lukasik’s deeply felt emotional responses as she excavates her own heritage. When there are holes in the story she imagines a possible filler. This is a book which elicits much discussion among diverse audiences, adding, as it does, to our understanding of the ramifications of racism. It also affords us the opportunity to right our own responses to embedded American caste rules.
~ Review by Beth Bartholomew
Afghan Refugee Initiative
Under the auspices of the Love & Justice Ministries, the Afghan Immigrant Initiative is seeking to identify how to effectively assist Afghanis arriving in our country. Refugees need support in order to meet their material, emotional, social and religious needs.
Many of our congregants have expressed an interest in providing sponsorship for at least one immigrant family. That opportunity may well present itself, yet currently the majority of immigrants are undergoing the extensive vetting required by our government so have not yet been placed into our local communities.
We are fortunate that in our area there are several highly experienced and effective resettlement agencies and other resources that benefit refugees. These organizations are gearing up for minimum estimate of 1280 refugees that expected to be placed in the greater Puget Sound area over time. To say they are overwhelmed by the anticipated influx is not an exaggeration. At present (and for some time to come) their greatest need is for monetary support.
Since we can’t predict when and how our church might join others in sponsoring an immigrant family, we believe the most effective way to provide immediate support is by providing financial support to one of the experienced resettlement agencies. After studying several of these, we decided to direct our Special Offering proceeds to the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS). Please see the Special Offering insert in this issue of Church and Home to learn how YOU can make a difference.
One of the things we’ve missed the most during the pandemic is our congregational monthly food packing events for the Emergency Feeding Program. Especially popular with children and families, we miss the conversations and the connections being made. Even the littlest ones in our community “get” that they are actively helping people who are hungry.
To keep those conversations going as a family, your UCUCC Hunger Outreach Action Team recommends checking out ideas from the “Hungry to Help Family Action Plan” published by the organization Feeding America, in partnership with Scholastic, Inc.
Read a story together about someone who experiences hunger then discuss what that person might be feeling. One suggestion might be the award-winning picture book, Maddie’s Fridge by Lois Brandt, which we have in our collection in the UCUCC Scheyer Library. Another is Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by DyANNE DiSalvo-Ryan.
If your family decides you’d like to donate food, you can reach out to one of our partners, North Helpline Food Bank in Lake City and Bitter Lake, or to a local food bank near you for contribution instructions.
~ Lisa and Bart Klingler
UCUCC Hunger Outreach Coordinators