Exploring United Methodist adults’ racial attitudes and beliefs from a critical race framework to inform outreach efforts with low-income, black youth in Mississippi
Item TypeGraduate Thesis
AdvisorHardman, Alisha M.
Jagger, Carla B.
Seal, Susan D.
Denny, Marina D.
Embargo TypeVisible to MSU only for 1 Year
Embargo Lift Date12/15/2020
Extensive literature has documented The United Methodist Church’s’ (UMC) commitment to social justice. A current focus in the church is working with economically marginalized populations, including the 231,170 Black children and youth in Mississippi. To better understand adults that serve this population, I conducted an exploratory study to gather baseline data about UMC adults’ contemporary attitudes and beliefs about race, racism, and discrimination. A cross-sectional survey was administered at the 2017 Mississippi Annual Conference of The UMC. Using a critical race lens, I found that most of the attendees espoused moderate color-blind racial attitudes and beliefs about the frequency that low-income, Black youth experience racial discrimination. I suggest that espousal of these attitudes and beliefs may promote notions of white privilege or internalized oppression and may lead to increased acts of racial prejudice and discrimination when these adults interact with low-income, Black youth.