How can I live with courage and integrity when the culture provides unearned benefits to me in my identities as white, male, heterosexual,able-bodied and middle class? How do I navigate the moral ambiguity if I live with some dominant identities and some targeted identities? Is it possible to find spiritual wholeness when those with those advantaged identities have perpetrated so much pain and suffering? How does one navigate the denial and guilt that attaches to those identities in order to stand in solidarity with those targeted for oppression?
Explore these questions as Ken Wagner shares part of his journey in grappling with these questions in a sermon entitled, “Resisting White Supremacy – What is in it for White People.” You may be surprised at the potential for spiritual wholeness and liberation on a very personal level.
Ken Wagner is former president of the Clara Barton District of the Unitarian Universalist Association. He currently serves on the UUA’s Nominating Committee and was one of the founding members of the New England Region’s Antiracism/Anti-oppression/Multicultural Transformation team called GRACE. He has also served for the last nine years on the Executive Steering Committee of the Allies for Racial Equity and just completed a two-year term as president of that organization.
Ken’s anti-racism journey began about 20 years ago in what was called a”white-privilege” group. Since that time, he and his wife Laura, the current executive director of UUMASS Action, the social advocacy network of the Unitarian Universalist Association, have continued that journey for their own spiritual growth and have facilitated a number of groups,workshops and film series across New England focused on the examination of rac eand the impact of white supremacy on our lives. He also facilitates such trainings and workshops at regional and national gatherings across the country.
Ken frequently conducts Sunday services on racism and white supremacy at congregations throughout New England and is a frequent speaker on this subject at church and community events. Since 2014, he has facilitated 8-week workshops focused on resistance to white supremacy at more than a dozen congregations and community groups across New England.
Ken has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin and lives with Laura in Marlborough. They have four children and three grandchildren, and he has lots of pictures to share if you absolutely insist on seeing them.