Social Worker With a Mission for Racial Unity
Andrea Clark, MSW, helps lead Redeemer Presbyterian Church's Racial Unity Ministry (R.U.M.). A native of Baltimore, Maryland, she is the daughter of a United Methodist minister. At the age of 13, the family moved to Northern California. Andrea began college at Santa Clara University, and transferred to Syracuse University, from which she graduated. Her graduate degree is from Columbia University. It was while a student at Columbia in upper Manhattan, five years ago, that she became familiar with Redeemer Presbyterian. Her love for New York City, as well her attraction to the ministry of Redeemer Presbyterian, has kept her in the "Big Apple."
Miss Clark has indicated that subsequent to the big event honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., about 33 people signed up for more information, and four or five took a step toward joining the home study group. She said that she had received numerous positive comments from various people about the evening.
According to Miss Clark, the diversity training which the group had conducted for the staff of Redeemer Presbyterian was an all-day Saturday event, featuring several speakers. They included Kathy Tuann, who spoke from her experience with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship regarding a model for racial reconciliation; and Dr. Timothy Keller, pastor of the church, who spoke on race, culture, and ethnicity. The Saturday gathering also involved small groups of four people discussing a case study of a Christian response to a racial incident in the neighborhood.
Miss Clark stated that one of the immediate goals of R.U.M. is to have smaller group studies, in order to "break down stereotypes that are not valid."
When asked the function of the recommended reading list of books, she said that it was, "Education. Reading is always a great way to widen their horizons, to identify with other cultures, to get out of their own ethnic or cultural background." It is also to "challenge their comfort zone, as to their own ethnic or cultural experience." She added that the group was especially interested in "targeting" the whites at Redeemer Church. "Just because they're white, they experience privilege, that other people who are not white do not experience."
Racial Unity Ministry
Redeemer Presbyterian Church
271 Madison Ave. Suite 1600
New York, NY 10036