Drew University Library : University Archives : Theses and Dissertations
author Scott D. Foster
title Doing Beloved Community: Building Relationships in Public Squares
abstract Doing Beloved Community is a relational model for community change. This is relational work, not transactional. It's coalition building collectively and individually—to be church as a part of the community not apart from it. Fostering personal relationships.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's Beloved Community is a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger, and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it.

Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.

Love and trust will triumph over fear and hatred. Peace with justice will prevail over war and military conflict.

Doing Beloved Community empowers individuals to take up anti-racism work by cultivating relationships at intersections in all levels of the community.

Education and community flourish through personal conversation groups in all public squares—meetings in homes, churches, civic spaces, classrooms—wherever people live, work, and serve.

Think anti-racist creative resources like book studies, documentaries, movies, television series, or expert panel conversations. Create safe spaces and forums to engage neighbors and new friends—to really hear and see each other—to work together to shape a vision and public policies of Beloved Community.

For examples: James Baldwin's I Am Not Your Negro or Chelsea Handler's Hello Privilege. It's Me, Chelsea. Book studies like Waking Up White by Debby Irving or Ibram Kendi's How To Be An Anti-Racist.

Meeting topics like Meet the Muslims Next Door, Microaggression, Black Life in this Community, or Meet the Police. This can be baked into a podcast series.

Contents include organizational and conversational tools, sermons, blog posts, public prayers, and meeting remarks to encourage you to take risks in doing the work in public squares.

This is not transactional or about getting new church or club members although you might. It's grass-roots relational community change through all intersections—by empowering individuals to literally infiltrate local civic groups, police, the academy, elected councils, political committees, and community policy action groups.

school The Theological School, Drew University
degree D.Min. (2021)
advisor John Janka
Jacqueline Lewis
committee Terry Todd
full textSFoster.pdf