When Corregan Brown and Dan Crain, both from Atlanta, were engaged in an online conversation regarding white evangelicalism a few months ago, they decided to form a Be The Bridge group with the other men who had been part of the conversation. Though the group was not planned to be explicitly male, the addition of a few other men made it so. Corregan and Dan both profess the experience so far to be healing.
“For men of color, or at least for me, it’s been healing to see a white man really acknowledge their connection to the history that is readily available but not well taught. To see the gaslighting, intentional or unintentional, stop, and to just see people wrestle with the idea of “we did this’ is validating in a surprising way,” said Corregan Brown.
Dan Crain stated, “I think the beauty of this group of men is that we are a microcosm of the body of Christ and are working through the dynamics together. The past meeting was absolutely amazing as we started in prayer together and two brothers, with opposing views of this offered to pray. It was great to hear them both pray to Christ for unity.”
We are often asked if men are active members. The reality is that the first ever Be the Bridge group was all women and the word got out through a women’s conference, but there’s nothing specific to women about the curriculum or groups. This group showcases that men are looking for spaces to engage in dialogue pertaining to racial unity with each other as well.
Corregan summed up beautifully why an all-male group can be a healthy space for bridge-building work. “Men are bad at pain,” he said. “We are trained as fixers. We solve problems, we don’t sit around and do nothing. But a key part of this work is sitting in pain. For white men, it’s coming to terms with the notion that where they are is a direct result of where this country has been. It’s unlearning the hero narratives that have been told about our country’s leaders and holding their great deeds in tension with their awful human failings, much like we do when viewing the human heroes of the Bible rightly. And we have to sit in full acknowledgement of that and lament to come to a place where we really repent, where our minds are changed.”
Do you also have an all-male Be the Bridge group? We would love to hear about it! Email Elizabeth at [email protected].