Left Bank Books presents diversity educator Aaron Layton, who will sign and discuss his book, Dear White Christian: What Every White Christian Needs to Know About How Black Christians See, Think, & Experience Racism in America (PCA Committee on Discipleship Ministries, 2017), with Kameel Stanley and Tim Lloyd, hosts of St. Luis Public Radio’s We Live Herepodcast, on Wednesday, September 13, 7pm, at Left Bank Books (399 N. Euclid). This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Dear White Christian from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line. 

In the fall of 2014, during the racial and cultural events in Ferguson, MO, Aaron Layton desperately wanted to know what was going on in the minds of his white colleagues, friends, and fellow church members. So, he did what comes naturally to him, but might seem unnatural to many: he asked. That response propelled Aaron to action to deepen the understanding of his white friends, with the hope that greater understanding would result in a greater unity believers possess in Christ. The lessons he learned are the foundation of this book. Dear White Christian is designed for any white Christian who seeks practical tools for beginning or continuing conversations with black brothers and sisters in Christ.

James Marsh, director of the Van Lunen Center at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, says, “Dear White Christianprovides a black leader’s perspective…to help break down the walls that inhabit real conversations and understanding to take place.” Thurman L. Williams, associate pastor at Grace and Peace Fellowship Church in St. Louis, claims, “This books will help you embrace the challenge to recognize the season we are in and steward it well.”

Years ago, Aaron Layton recognized that many churches and Christian organizations needed diversity education and training. After working for several years as a Director of Diversity at a Christian school, Aaron founded Relate2Color, a Christian diversity consulting agency based in St. Louis. Aaron has been happily married to his wife, Gretchen, for 22 years and has two teenage children. Along with his love for college football, he loves coffee, a good book, and good conversation.

We Live Here explores the issues of race, class and power that led to the emotional eruption in the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson. St. Louis Public Radio reporters Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanley, along with editor Shula Neuman, present podcasts, radio features, web stories and use social media for an in-depth exploration of how systemic racism impacts people as well as the well-being of our region and beyond.

Kameel Stanley is a reporter with St. Louis Public Radio. Before moving to St. Louis in summer 2015, Kameel worked for several years as a public safety and city hall beat reporter for the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. In between investigating racial disparities in policing and reporting on racial tensions in city government, she also wrote for Deal Divas, the newspaper’s fashion blog. She graduated from Central Michigan University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Tim Lloyd grew up north of Kansas City and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Since joining St. Louis Public Radio in 2012, he has won eight Edward R Murrow Awards. In 2015 he won the Education Writers Association’s national award for best beat reporter, broadcast. In 2010 he received the national Debakey Journalism Award and in 2009 he won a Missouri Press Association award for Best News Feature. Previously, he launched digital reporting efforts for Harvest Public Media, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded collaboration between Midwestern NPR member stations that focuses on agriculture and food issues.

Aaron Layton will discuss Dear White Christian with We Live Here hosts Kameel Stanley and Tim Lloyd, answer questions, and sign books. This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Dear White Christian from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line. Books for signing are available from Left Bank Books in advance or at the event. For more information, call 314.367.6731 or visit left-bank.comM

Via Press Release