WholeLife Church

Let’s Talk About Racism

Black History Month


In 1925, Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History”, had a bold idea. That year, he announced “Negro History Week” — a celebration of a people that many in this country at the time believed had no place in history.

The response to the event, first celebrated in February 1926, a month that included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, was overwhelming as educators, scholars, and philanthropists stepped forward to endorse the effort. Fifty years later, coinciding with the nation’s bicentennial and in the wake of the civil rights movement, the celebration was expanded from a week to a month after President Gerald R. Ford decreed national observance.

This month’s theme is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.

Learn more about the history:

Additional Learning & Education

Upcoming Events
  • The City of Orlando Celebrates Black History Month (Multiple Dates & Times): Every February, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioners celebrate Black History Month by highlighting the lasting contributions and positive influence of Black Americans in the Central Florida community. Check out the many different events and learning opportunities HERE.
  • 2nd Annual Black History Month Celebration: 1619 Fest Orlando: February 13-14 in Historic Hannibal Square. CLICK HERE for more info.
  • A Tribute to Jazz (February 21, Apopka): From Duke Ellington and Count Basie to Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, come enjoy the music of some of America’s most iconic Black composers and songwriters. Join the CFCArts Big Band for a journey through decades of incredible music that helped change our country and culture. Find more information HERE.
  • ASALH Virtual Festival 2021: The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) was established on September 9, 1915, by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. They are the Founders of Black History Month, and carry forth the work of Dr. Woodson, the Father of Black History. CLICK HERE for multiple FREE community events throughout the month of February. 
  • Social Action Meeting House Series: View four fascinating one-hour films each Sunday this month, starting with Reconstruction: America After the Civil War. Secure the zoom link by emailing: registeruucm@gmail.com.
  • Smithsonian Virtual Tour: Take a Virtual Tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture HERE.
  • For more ideas, check out the NAACP’s 28 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

Let’s Talk: Check-in | November 21, 2020 | 4:00pm

Re-watch this candid, and vulnerable discussion as we check in with our church members/friends. Our hope is that this talk can model future discussions that you may want to have in your own circles. Thank you for wanting to be a church without walls with us!

Previous Events & Additional Resources

Let’s Talk: Part 1 | August 1, 2020

On August 1, we held our first panel discussion on racism. Hear from our church community about their experiences and learn how you can help make a change. Watch the recorded discussion here, and find more information and resources below.

Recorded live on August 1, 2020

Let’s Talk – Part 2 | September 12, 2020

We had our second panel discussion on September 12. Watch it again here!

No Excuse for Racism

by Senior Pastor Andy McDonald 

WholeLife Church stands with all those in opposition to racial injustice and racial inequality.

WholeLife Church aches and hurts as we have witnessed another senseless murder of an unarmed black male by one sworn to protect and serve.

WholeLife Church is embarrassed that too often we have been complacent and responded with silence during the long history of racial abuse in our country where deaths at the hands of police and incarceration rates are disproportionately higher among our black citizens.  

WholeLife Church cannot be silent because God has called us to love people, all people of every race and culture, into a lifelong friendship with God, so our love demands we first engage our ears and then our voice followed by our action to end racial injustice. WWJD?

WholeLife Church is committed to engaging in the hard conversations of racial discrimination. Our hope is to be a catalyst for change in order for our brothers and sisters of color to feel safer in our communities.

WholeLife Church believes every person is created in the image of God with intrinsic worth and value, that every life matters, and that’s why when our black friend’s lives have been marginalized we must join in the call for justice that black lives matter as we follow Paul’s counsel, “In humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 

WholeLife Church says to all of our black members, to our black community, we love you and we want to hear your story, and we want to be part of the writing of a new story that exemplifies the love of Jesus for all people without distinction. We want to practice racial justice in our church, that it might be a safe haven from the injustices of our world, and we want to put our influence towards making our community, our nation and our world a place without racial injustice.


Our Podcast Episodes

Seeking To Understand Current Cultural Tensions — Listen to this special podcast episode. We invited WLC member Craig Moore to speak from his perspective as a man of color whose story is all too familiar, but powerful. Craig did an amazing job of speaking into this uncomfortable subject with grace and love.

 846 — Referencing the horrific 8:46 that Mr. Floyd endured the torture of being unable to breathe, leading to his death. The entire 8:46 contains only the stopwatch bumpers at the beginning and end with no audio for the remainder. We encourage listeners to contemplate, with only silence and their thoughts, exactly how long that really is by staying tuned for the entirety of the time Mr. Floyd endured this tragedy.

Books and Articles



  • Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
  • A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  • White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Burning House by Anders Walker
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • Dying of Whiteness by Jonathan M. Metzl
  • A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki
  • The Condemnation of Blackness by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Biographies, Personal Narratives

  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • Malcom X by Alex Haley
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Killing Rage: Ending Racism by Bell Hooks
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama


Films and Documentaries

  • 13th
  • Selma
  • Juneteenth
  • Malcom X
  • Fruitvale Station
  • When They See Us
  • Eyes on the Prize
  • Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
  • Anguish and Action

Take Action

What can I do now?
Stop the Hate: Take a Stand Against Racism and Xenophobia

It is our responsibility to report hate crimes.

Tips for reporting hate, racism and xenophobia offenses:

  • Report, show up, protect, speak out, and advocate for vulnerable.
  • Identify and report perpetrators of hate crimes.
  • Inform and train members within your congregations and communities how to intervene, speak out, and disrupt hate, racism, discrimination, sexism, ageism, homophobic and sexual orientation oppression, and the suppression of human and civil rights.

How you can support non-profits working to bring equality

Racism in the U.S. is a public health issue, according to several medical groups. You can stand up for racial justice by supporting non-profits working to eradicate racism.

  • Facing History and Ourselves equips educators to teach tolerance in classrooms through the study of history and ethical decision-making.
  • Black Youth Project 100 is a national organization working toward racial justice through direct-action organizing, advocacy, and political education.
  • The NAACP Legal Defense Fund fights to eliminate racial disparities through education, scholarships, and legal help for people of color whose civil rights have been violated.
  • The Equal Justice Initiative works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality. For more than 30 years, EJI has helped overturn wrongful convictions and unfair sentences for minorities. It also has a comprehensive public education program that includes books, documentary and feature films, lesson plans, and other community programs.