Black Light course

The Black Lives Matter movement has encouraged many people around the world and in the UK to reflect more deeply on issues of race, colonialism and social justice. As a small contribution to this, the Ascension Trust and Urban Expression are offering this online course.

Who is the Black Light course for?
The short answer is ‘anyone concerned about racial injustice, the legacies of colonialism and the potential of partnership between people and churches of different ethnicities and cultures in the UK.’ We hope that Black and White Christians, members of Black-majority, White-majority and multi-ethnic churches will participate, learn together and share experiences, struggles, hopes and dreams.

Who is involved?
The course is created through partnership between Urban Expression and the Ascension Trust.  Originally developed and run in London in the 1990s, in Brixton and in Islington, by course leaders Les Isaac (The Ascension Trust) and Stuart Murray Williams (Urban Expression). Now updated for 2021 the speakers and hosts come from different places and contexts, offering expertise in different areas – some taught on the original course and others are new voices.

What are our hopes for the course?
We hope that participants will:

  • Gain a greater appreciation of the roles played by Black people in the Bible, early church history and church and society today.
  • Learn more about the dual legacy of Christendom and colonialism and what needs to change in our thinking, practices and structures.
  • Wrestle with challenging issues, including white privilege and white supremacy, institutional racism and mono-ethnic churches.
  • Explore possibilities for increasing Black/White partnership in various dimensions of mission and church.
  • Share our own experiences in church and society and develop fresh perspectives and strategies.

What will happen each evening?
Each evening will be hosted by a member of the team, who will welcome participants, introduce the presenters, keep an eye on the ‘chat box’, respond to queries and hold the programme together. The presenters will offer two sessions with a short break between them. These will be a mix of teaching and interaction, making use of the ‘breakout rooms’ that Zoom provides for small-group discussion

When does it take place?
The course will run on Thursday evenings through April to June:
29 April, 6 May, 13 May, 20 May, (mid-course break), 3 June, 10 June, 17 June, 24 June.
There are eight evenings, spread over nine weeks with a break in the middle. Each evening will run from 7pm to 9pm and will start and finish promptly.
The Zoom meeting will be open from 6.45pm to enable everyone to settle in and chat beforehand.
Details of the programme, presenters, cost and booking information can be found on the course website. Click the button below.