Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines
Sandhya Rani Jha
Those people. Their issues. The day's news and the ways we treat each other, overtly or subliminally, prove we are not yet living in post-racial America. It's hard to talk about race in America without everyone very quickly becoming defensive and shutting down.
What makes talking race even harder is that so few of us actually know each other in the fullness of our stories. A recent Reuters poll found 40% of White people have no friends of other races, and 25% of people of color only have friends of the same race.
Sandhya Rani Jha addresses the hot topic in a way that is grounded in real people's stories and that offers solid biblical grounding for thinking about race relations in America, reminding us that God calls us to build Beloved Community.
Discussion questions at the end of each chapter provide starting points for reading groups.
Sandhya Rani Jha serves as Director at the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of innovative non-profits working to create justice and peace in the city of Oakland and the Bay Area. The OPC is also a physical space, and the legacy project of First Christian Church of Oakland, where Sandhya pastored for seven years. Ordained in 2005 at National City Christian Church in Washington, DC, Sandhya's passion is liberation ethics as an academic field and as a lived experience in urban communities. She has published Room at the Table: Struggle for Unity and Equality in Disciples History, a book about people of color in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and co-wrote (with Ben Bohren and Paula Bishop Pochieca) And Still We Rise, a congregational study of transformation. Sandhya is an anti-racism/anti-oppression trainer with the Disciples of Christ, a regular public speaker and preacher, and an occasional consultant for Hope Partnership's New Beginnings program. Sandhya also serves as Director of Interfaith Programs at East Bay Housing Organizations, a membership organization that works to preserve, protect and expand affordable housing opportunities through education, advocacy and coalition-building in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.
The daughter of a mother from Scotland and a father from India, Sandhya has been shaped by both cultures and their values. Sandhya received both a Master of Divinity and Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago in 2005, where her joint thesis was on the subject of "Public Goods, Public Bads, the Common Good and the Common Burden: Environmental Racism as a case study on the intersection of Public Policy and Theological Ethics." It probably goes without saying that she gets far more excited about urban policy than a normal person should.