Necessary Risks: Challenges Privileged People Need to Face

Necessary Risks: Challenges Privileged People Need to Face

by Teri McDowell Ott
Necessary Risks: Challenges Privileged People Need to Face

Necessary Risks: Challenges Privileged People Need to Face

by Teri McDowell Ott


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Good people of privilege are increasingly aware of racial injustice but unsure what to do about it and afraid to venture into challenging dialogues and spaces. Necessary Risks: Challenges Privileged People Need to Face encourages readers to value risk-taking as the path toward a more equitable and just world.

Building on skillful, memoir-like stories, Teri McDowell Ott explores ten risks—including learning, teaching, leading, following, going, and staying—with which she has wrestled in her work with diverse populations as the chaplain of a liberal arts college and as a volunteer in a men's state prison.

Ott then reflects on how these experiences, including mistakes in often tense settings, have forced her to confront and wrestle with the systems and structures that have privileged her as a white Christian woman. With humility, she relates how risk-taking has led to profound changes in herself and her community.

These necessary risks are also informed by Ott's study of authors, theologians, and scholars of color, such as Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ada María Isasi-Díaz, and Eddie Glaude Jr.

Demonstrating that in the face of injustice, white silence and inaction are not neutral, Necessary Risks leads readers to feel less fearful and more capable in diverse settings and ultimately to contribute to personal and communal learning and growth, change and transformation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506471815
Publisher: 1517 Media
Publication date: 03/15/2022
Pages: 206
Sales rank: 864,649
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Teri McDowell Ott, a Presbyterian minister, received her MDiv from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and her DMin from McCormick Theological Seminary. She served Monmouth College as chaplain and later as dean of the chapel until May 2021. At Monmouth, Ott built a vibrant and diverse religious and spiritual-life ministry and created an educational outreach program with the local men's prison. She now serves as the editor and publisher of the Presbyterian Outlook, the only independent news publication of the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Introduction: On Fear 1

Chapter 1 Risk Going 15

Chapter 2 Risk Staying 35

Chapter 3 Risk Learning 53

Chapter 4 Risk Teaching 69

Chapter 5 Risk Following 85

Chapter 6 Risk Leading 101

Chapter 7 Risk Listening 115

Chapter 8 Risk Speaking 133

Chapter 9 Risk Failing 151

Chapter 10 Risk Succeeding 169

Conclusion 185

Notes 193

Recommended Resources 201

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