OneRace Movement: Gathering Together for Racial Reconciliation
Katie Hagaman plans to attend the OneRace Movement event taking place in Stone Mountain, Georgia, on Saturday, August 25. She wants to raise awareness for racial reconciliation and give voice to an issue that personally affects her own family.
It has been said that the branches of a family can reach everywhere and yet their roots are all in one place.
Blossoms of this truth accentuate many of Katie Hagaman's joy-filled family photos, especially those of her nephew Ben. Born in Uganda, Ben was adopted by Katie's sister and her husband at age two. That was years ago and yet Katie is still aware of how distinctive it is to have someone of color in their family.
"People are very accepting, very loving, and yet I still see the looks of surprise on faces," Katie said.
A heightened sense of awareness spurred Katie's sister Emily to learn more about black history in the United States. Katie has followed suit. What they've learned is as eye-opening as it is heartbreaking.
"It's a lot to think about, but freedom from slavery is still really, really new in the scheme of time in this country," Katie admitted.
A long and painful history of segregation and separation has left younger generations of people who don't fully realize the racial divisions that still tear at the fabric of our society. Many of us don't fully understand the hurt and can't clearly see the distrust that exists, but that doesn't mean we're not accountable.
"We may have inherited the problems, but it's our responsibility to give voice to this deeply divisive issue," Katie said.
"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners can sit down at the table of brotherhood." – Martin Luther King, Jr.
That is one reason why Katie is excited to join the OneRace Stone Mountain event at the end of August. For her, its an opportunity for children of God to come together and be a part of the reconciliation. "We need to need to raise awareness for the need for racial reconciliation and there will be people attending who want to listen and call for change."
Moving Towards Racial Reconciliation
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared in his “I Have A Dream” speech, “Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.” On the week of the 55th anniversary of this speech, the OneRace Movement is calling for believers to gather at Stone Mountain, Georgia, to embody that dream—not to represent any one race, gender, ethnicity, or denomination, but to represent the brotherhood we share as children of God.
Organizers of the one-day event are seeking to gather 30,000 believers and 300 pastors from diverse cultural backgrounds and denominations on Saturday, August 25. Their vision is to gather together to renounce the historic divisions of racism and petition God for racial reconciliation and revival in our nation.
"This will be a time of intentional prayer, worship, and revival," Katie said. "We must understand that God’s solution for a divided nation is a united church."
"Anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them." – 1 John 2:11
It's Our Responsibility
Katie is excited to experience a rainbow of people coming together for one purpose and with one voice. And she believes attending this event is something she must do to support the family she loves.
"White people are born into privilege without even realizing it," Katie said. "People just don't know–I didn't know. But I love Ben. And I recognize that it's my responsibility to stand up for him just the same as I would for my own daughter."
OneRace Stone Mountain
August 25, 2018
Stone Mountain, Georgia
The event is free. You simply need to bring yourself and be ready to worship with a lot of other people who are calling out for healing and reconciliation. Email Katie if you'd like to meet up with her at the event: firstname.lastname@example.org