“What needs to be repaired? First we have to ask ourselves, 'What’s been broken?’” — Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil
Listen in on our interview with Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, professor of reconciliation studies, as we discuss the complex work of pursuing racial justice and reconciliation in our world.
As our nation is in the midst of engaging in many necessary and important conversations about racism and the need for racial justice, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, an expert on the topic of racial reconciliation. In our conversation together, Dr. Brenda invites us into her own journey of transformation in her thinking about racial reconciliation, while helping us understand our own journeys as well.
In this interview, we discuss the recent release of the new edition of her book Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0. Dr. Brenda unpacks her definition of reconciliation: “an ongoing spiritual process involving forgiveness, repentance, and justice that restores broken relationships and systems to reflect God’s original intention for all creation to flourish.”
Dr. Brenda notes the distinction between racial reconciliation and racial justice and urges us to redeem the term reconciliation from the watered-down term many Christians have made it to be.
As a trauma-informed counselor, I was also grateful to hear Dr. Brenda’s perspective on racial trauma and the impact conversations on racial injustice have on different groups of people. Dr. Brenda suggests several strategies for engaging in conversation without continuing to wound and re-traumatize one another.
We wrap up our conversation by exploring the hope she has specifically for women and our collective voices as a catalyst for justice and change. We hope you find this interview as meaningful as we did.
— Caroline Triscik