Partnerships in Racial Justice Work

Rachael Clinton Chen and Dr. Dan Allender are joined by Jimmy McGee, President and CEO of The Impact Movement, and Dr. J. Derek McNeil, President of The Seattle School, to talk about the partnership between The Impact Movement and The Allender Center.

The mission of The Impact Movement is “to impact spiritual leaders who impact the world, to engage college students and marketplace professionals […] and to serve and work in cooperation with and in support of the African American church.” Questions raised during the conversation include: How do we proceed in the process of dealing with racial trauma and injustice with people who will help us grow, and how do we do it well with the conversations that are difficult to enter?


“There was a lot of depth around the trauma that you had already recognized both emotionally, physically, and sexually, but this racial trauma is really a combination of all these factors. I wanted to see, was he able to pick up nuances, leverage the skills he had and move forward? At that point my imagination started going, I talked to Derek once or twice, and I started thinking about the school as well as The Allender Center, and about how far we can go down the road.” Jimmy McGee

“How is it that I did not see, that I don’t want to see, and now, I do see, and it has been that process in conversations certainly with both of you that has been both heartbreaking and heart revealing but also hope creating. That has to be there, a sense of entering into the grief but also the prospect that there can be movement.” Dr. Dan Allender

“I’m waking up to the reality that our love was not enough, and that we were harming people we knew we loved in our midst. Speaking for myself, I’m grateful for the generosity of Jimmy to come in and say you need some help, there are some things you need to submit to, there are some processes of transformation that are going to be both educational and deeply interpersonal.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“We need work that allows us (people of color) to recognize we’ve been in a traumatic situation, and that trauma has impacted us over generations. I think we have to partner with people, not just help people. That means we’re going to fight, struggle with each other, and the commitment is to not let go. Do not let go in the wrestling.” Dr. J. Derek McNeil

“Real partnership is knowing your limitation, and then it’s the desire to go, ‘Hey wait a minute, we were never built to be a one-size shop, we were built to be people that collaborate and so, therefore, help me, because I can’t do it on my own.’” Jimmy McGee

“The assumption of white privilege is I don’t have to think about my identity.” Dr. Dan Allender

“That’s the challenge. We’re asking people to shift their identity. It’s not simply changing your attitude about what it means to be part of a cultural group—we’re asking people to the deep work of saying, ‘Who are you?’” Dr. J. Derek McNeil