United Christian Parish Plans Community Discussion on Bigotry and Unconscious Bias

by RestonNow.com August 31, 2017 at 2:45 pm 13 Comments

An upcoming event at a Reston church plans to dive into the issue of hate in the wake of violent clashes earlier this month in Charlottesville.

United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive) will host a panel of community and faith leaders on Sunday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. for what it is calling a “post-Charlottesville town hall.” According to information provided by the church, residents are invited to take part in the “[discussion of] bigotry and unconscious bias as we seek to work together to heal the wounds.”

Panelists scheduled for the event include:

  • the Rev. Debra Haffner, Unitarian Universalist Reston
  • Imam Ali Siddiqui, the Muslim Institute for Interfaith Studies, Virginia
  • the Rev. Dr. Ken Brooks Langston, Disciples Justice Action Network
  • the Rev. Michele Nickens, Washington Plaza Baptist Church
  • the Rev. Russell Heiland, Unity Fairfax
  • Minister Wendy Hamilton, Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia
  • Ronald Lapitan, the Center for Health and Human Rights
  • the Rev. Marcus Leathers, United Christian Parish-Reston

Registration is also open for the church’s Justice & Inclusion Conference, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11. Workshops will include Justice of Anti-Racism, Immigrant Sanctuary Cause & the Law, LGBTQ Students, Employees and Families in Public Schools, Troubling the Waters: Intimate Violence & the Church, Movement for Health & Human Rights, Think Global Warming: Act Local, Social Justice and Islam, Social Witness & Justice Advocacy, Transgender Advocacy, Immigrant/Refugee Advocacy and more.

“In light of recent events, it seems more important than ever for people to come together to discuss and work together for justice, inclusion and peace,” the church says in a press release. “We will not agree on all of the issues, but we can find common ground and we can work together to advance justice, inclusion and peace.”

Singer/songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine will also perform at the free conference.

For more information about either of these events, contact James Dean at [email protected] or 571-830-8730.

  • TheKingJAK

    When I see Global Warming included in a supposed discussion on bigotry, then I know this meet-up has zero to do with the latter.

    • Mike M

      Direct hit!

      To save everyone some time, I’ll paraphrase the sum total of the “discussion.”

      If you reject Liberal notions you are a bigot and that’s baaaaad!

      You are very welcome.

      • meh

        I’ll save you some time.

        White bad. Only white people can be racists. Single parent homes are good. Baby Daddies are fine. School is for losers. Yay crack!

    • Yomi

      The global warming discussion is part of a separate conference being held on a completely different date with a completely different set of speakers (I assume) that’s just mentioned as additional related information. That entire paragraph actually has nothing to do with the article itself, it’s just filler. I agree that this paragraph should have been put at the bottom so that it’s more clear that it’s unrelated, but a little bit of reading comprehension goes a long way.

      • mcCarthyism


  • Reeeee!


  • Arielle in NoVA

    Excellent! Will pass the word around.

  • cRAzy

    Thanks, UCP, for trying to do something constructive on the growing problem of people demonstrating their bigotry. (I don’t think you will ever rid bigots of their views.) We really need to step up in an era of growing public anger, especially with government, that is letting bigotry fester.

    And, if possible, you might want to strike the climate change item from your upcoming conference. It’s not an issue of “justice and inclusion,” it’s a matter of science and, just like bigots, there will always be Know Nothings. In fact, some use faith to justify their anti-climate change views.

    • mcCarthyism

      I dare say, YOU are the bigot!!!

    • Climate change and it’s effects actually do intersect with issues of justice and inclusion in a lot of ways, because the negative consequences are already disproportionately affecting certain populations (many of which are not those who are able to make decisions and changes that could change the outcomes).

      It is a matter of science, and it is contentious and unfortunately will paint a target on the conference by people who want to be angry. But climate change isn’t just a thing that’s happening, it’s a thing that’s creating huge changes in our infrastructure and disaster relief/prevention efforts, and those are spaces where inclusion is a necessity. In the end I’d rather the climate change crowd be more inclusive of a diversity of voices, but the conversation has to intersect somewhere.

    • Mike M

      Constructive? I am challenged to construct positive results every day. I know what good results look like. What exactly would be constructive about this, from a results standpoint?

  • Bah



    Whenever a Lefty says “discussion” it means “shut up and sit there while I lecture you”.

    “We will not agree on all of the issues, but we can find common ground
    and we can work together to advance justice, inclusion and peace.”

    I bet they are not open to an actual discussion of how to define justice, inclusion, or peace.

  • Auto DF

    Way to start off a community discussion on bigotry by excluding Roman Catholics.


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