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The Interfaith Racial Coalition

About Us

The inception of the Interfaith Racial Coalition (IRC) stems from the extensive race relations efforts and the enduring legacy of the Second Baptist Church of Evanston and its deeply rooted and tireless commitment to championing equity and justice within the Evanston community. The journey officially began on the first Sunday of January 2018, when our Senior Pastor, Michael C.R. Nabors, D.Min., preached a sermon declaring “War on Racism.”

This declaration was prompted by the myriad of challenges arising in 2017; the NAACP issuing a travel advisory for Black people in the state of Missouri when the state passed SB-43, the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville Rally, President Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy groups and his critique of African American NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. All these issues and so many more created a desire to abolish racism.

By 2018, Second Baptist had incorporated anti-racism initiatives into all of its ministries under a program titled, “When We All Get it Together.” This program ran for three years and was our first social justice effort following the 2016 presidential election. Within just a couple of years, Second Baptist had trained nearly twenty of its members as facilitators of race talk solidarity circles and began these circles with many congregations in Evanston. 

In 2022, Lake Street Church of Evanston issued a powerful letter to Second Baptist confirming that SBC members were rightful co-owners of the Lake Street Church property. To date, Second Baptist continues to foster this partnership with Lake Street and countless other congregations across Evanston, including but not limited to, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue, with which we’ve cultivated a twenty-year relationship, much of which is based on overcoming racism and improving race relations in our Evanston community.

In 2022, Tiffani M. Watson, the founder of IRC, also successfully obtained Northwestern University's Racial Equity and Community Partnership grant, racial equity funding for Evanston-area organizations (link). Securing this support marked the initiation of additional efforts to spearhead more equity and race relations activities, including organizing and facilitating interfaith race solidarity circles and crafting the curriculum, launching an eight-part interfaith racial education series known as the Second Baptist Church Interfaith Racial Education Workshop Series for the Evanston Interfaith community, and producing a documentary that shared this journey.

In January of 2023, The Interfaith Racial Education Workshop Series launched, covering topics like racial identity, racial identity development, racial socialization, the history of racism, white privilege, and much more. Sixty participants from eleven Evanston-area churches participated, vowing to be part of the newly formed IRC.

Now, as we launch the IRC in 2024, it is important to note that at the heart of the IRC lies the aspiration to unify the diverse tapestry of the Evanston interfaith community. We believe that by coming together, we can create a stronger, more inclusive society where differences are celebrated and respected. Through dialogue, education, and action-based work, we aim to build bridges of understanding and empathy among people of different faiths and backgrounds. Our organization serves as a beacon of hope and solidarity, inspiring individuals of all faiths to stand up against injustice and work towards a more equitable future. Together, we can make a lasting impact on our community, fostering a culture of compassion, acceptance, and cooperation.

The Interfaith Racial Coalition
Misson & Vision
Interfaith Racial Coalition

Our Mission

The SBC Interfaith Racial Coalition seeks to serve God (respecting all religions) by engaging congregations across Evanston in collaborative and action-based activism to interrupt injustice, disrupt, and dismantle systemic racism across the Evanston community through evaluated, proposed solutions and a consistent formulated strategy.

Interfaith Racial Coalition

Our Vision

The SBC Interfaith Racial Coalition serves to close the racial equity gap between black and white residents and their families in Evanston.

Our Purpose

As a Second Baptist Church of Evanston initiative, the Interfaith Racial Coalition endeavors to unify the Evanston interfaith community, embody the principles of service to God, and cultivate a society where justice prevails.

Interfaith Racial Coalition
Interfaith Racial Coalition

Our Values

Unity in Diversity

We demonstrate the beauty and strength of unity and diversity of religious beliefs and practices, and we encourage members to celebrate and learn from each other’s traditions and backgrounds, recognizing that while there are differences, there is also a common humanity that unites us all.

Respect for All Beliefs

We foster an environment of mutual respect, civil and open dialogue, active listening, understanding and empathy toward all of our community's varying perspectives.

Service & Social Justice

We model and promote the shared value of serving others and working together to address economic and social injustices across our community.

Interfaith Education & Dialogue

We prioritize knowledge, ongoing education and research, and we feel that it is essential to building meaningful partnerships and changing social outcomes across our community.

The Interfaith Racial Coalition

Thank you for visiting the IRC of Evanston. We welcome you to contact us, volunteer your time/services, or donate by following the links below!

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