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How Did Biblical Stories Become Racist?

How do we get students, especially white students, to sit with their discomfort and anxiety in discussions around white privilege? The goal of this presentation is to provide tools to help us engage in difficult conversations about race and racism with our peers. This presentation uses stories from the biblical text as a platform to explore the religious and theological foundations of racist ideas and how they have contributed to racist ideology in the United States. With this foundation, we will then contemplate how these stories, whether one is religious or not, have contributed to our own ideas of white supremacy as well as explore ways to challenge our own biases and engage in honest and respectful dialogue with others.


Dr. Regina Ballard is the Chair of the Religion and Ethics Department at The Bishop’s School in La Jolla, CA.  She received her B.A. at the University of San Diego in English Literature with a Religious Studies minor and her Master’s in Theology with an emphasis on the Catholic Church in America at Providence College. At Virginia Theological Seminary, Dr. Ballard earned a D.Min in Educational Leadership. Her thesis “That’s So 70s: Making Feminist Hermeneutics Relevant for the 21st-Century Adolescent” led her to developing courses at Bishop’s that challenge and provoke students to think more critically about the intersectionality of religion, diversity, equity and inclusion. These courses include: Feminism: A Biblical Perspective; The Holocaust: Religious Questions; and Race and Religion in America.

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