Would you like to start a Be The Bridge University discussion group on your campus?
- Join and follow the BTBU Facebook group. This will connect you with other people committed to racial reconciliation on college campuses across the country, and keep you up on the latest BTBU scoop.
- We also highly recommend you join the larger Be The Bridge To Racial Unity FB learning community.
- Read through the Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting a BTBU Group below.
- Check out our BTBU Discussion Guide and BTBU Leader’s Guide below.
THE BRIDGE TO RACIAL UNITY COLLEGE GUIDES
Do you have a heart to help heal racial division in our country and on your campus? Do you desire to work toward racial unity, but don’t know where to start? Have you ever wondered what the Bible might have to say about racial reconciliation?
The BTBU Discussion Guide might be just the tool you are looking for. The BTBU Discussion Guide is designed to lead a diverse group of 3-12 people through a 9-session study on the key steps in the racial reconciliation process. The BTBU Leader’s Guide provides helpful suggestions about group selection and structure, shepherding a group through difficult topics, preparation for group times, and additional background information on each topic.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE STARTING A BTBU GROUP
I’m thinking about leading a BTBU Group. What are the first steps I should take?
- Start with prayer – a lot of prayer. Listen to the voice of God. Ask Him to lead you to others with the same heart for racial reconciliation.
- If you are not a member already, request to join the BTB University Facebook group.
- Focus first on your own transformation and liberation. If you are a white person, start to intentionally listen to people of color and educate yourself on the issues. Read and reflect on Whiteness 101 (a free BTB resource.) Then start working your way through our list of “Bridge Building Resources” found under the “Files” tab on the left side of the BTBU Facebook group.
- Establish your purpose: Why do you want to start a BTBU Group? What do you want to see God do?
What is the ideal makeup of a BTBU group?
- BTBU groups should be co-led by a pair of leaders. If you are white, it is essential to have a co-leader who is a person of color.
- Groups should consist of 3-12 people of different ethnic backgrounds. Also try to be as diverse as you can with marital status, age, geography, and other demographics.
- It’s preferable that no one person should be the only representative of any racial or ethnic group, so no one feels the pressure of being the sole spokesperson for their race/ethnicity.
- Ideally, groups would include at least as many people of color as white people.
OK, I’ve taken all the steps listed above, and I’m ready to lead a group. Now what do I do?
- Purchase a copy of College Discussion Guide and College Leader’s Guide. BTB also offers special pricing for college organizations that would like to utilize BTBU materials for multiple groups.
- Start connecting with other group leaders across the country in the BTB University Facebook group. Use the Search function to find past posts on topics you have questions about.
- Register your group using the form below.
- Find at least two trusted friends or ministry partners to pray for you, your co-leader, and your group. Prayer support is essential.
How do I find people to participate?
- Networking can be key. Talk to campus ministers and professors.
- Utilize social media.
- Check with your church leadership to find out if there’s a way to let people from your congregation know about your group.
- Be aware that not everyone is in a place mentally, emotionally, or spiritually to engage in the work of racial bridge building. Try not to be discouraged if your attempts to find group members are met with rejection or take time. This work is incredibly challenging. In the end, it will be more beneficial to find group members who are “all in” than trying to convince others to join you.
What if I live in an area without much racial diversity? How do I begin to diversify my life?
- Begin exploring nearby communities that are more diverse. Shop at different stores. Join a different gym. Eat at different restaurants.
- Get involved in campus organizations led by and filled with people who look different from you.
- Check out local cultural community centers.
- Seek out a mentor from a different ethnic or cultural background.
- Visit or join a more diverse church.
- Diversify who you follow on social media.
- Read books by people of different races and ethnicities.
- Watch different programming on TV.
- Get your news from a different source.
- Pray for God to send “people of peace” (people who can open doors into new communities) your way.
- Consider moving to a more diverse area.
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