Be Counted & Be Heard

2020 Census

Only 63% of all households in the nation have responded to the 2020 Census. If you or anyone you know isn’t included in that count, action must be taken before September 30.  Accurate counting of everyone who is living in the United States is critical to the allocation of federal funds to communities for the next ten years.  Funding for education, housing, roads, public transit, social services and many other aspects of your community are based on these headcounts.

Census figures are also used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.  If everyone in your community is not properly counted, you risk being moved into a district that doesn’t share your priorities and issues. Minority communities are especially vulnerable to being undercounted.  Go to https://2020census.gov/  and learn how to be counted. Complete the census form.  It’s quick, easy and confidential.

Voter Registration

Voter registration and participation are crucial to a properly functioning democracy and fair representation.  Barriers must be eliminated and all voices must be heard. Voter suppression can be hard to get your head around, especially if you’ve never encountered it personally. 

Consider what it means to those who face registration and voting barriers due to their skin color, low income, no internet access, disability, lack of transportation or work constraints. Not to mention confusing, often arbitrary registration and voter ID laws, purged voter rolls, relocated or closed polling places, long lines, intimidating poll “observers” and voting machines that don’t work.

These are very real obstacles that disenfranchise many would-be voters. It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see any protective measures passed for this election; the 2019 H.R. 1 For the People Act and other measures continue to languish in the Senate.

But here are some steps you can take before the November 3 General Election: 

  • Educate yourself and others on everything you need to know to register and vote. The website www.vote411.org provides up to date election information including sample ballots, information on the candidates and their platforms.
  • Check your voter registration, election rules and polling locations on your state election website. October 13 is the last day to register to vote in Kansas; October 7 is the last day to register to vote in Missouri.
  • Determine where, when and how you’ll cast your vote. There are options for mail-in and in-person voting but requirements vary by state. Bring multiple forms of official ID if voting in person.
  • Volunteer to be a poll worker, assist others with registration, or take people to the polls.

Other helpful election information sites:

Black Voters Matter Fund 
Let America Vote
American Civil Liberties Union 
League of Women Voters 
Voto Latino
NextGen America
The Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights,


Upcoming Classes & Small Groups

Your Liberation is My Liberation: 
Empowering Ourselves Through Christ to Become Anti-Racist

Tuesdays on Zoom | 6:30-8:30 PM
September 22 – December 15

Led by ARJ members, this 12-week deep dive examines concepts and insights found in “White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo and “How to Be An Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. Through reading, discussion, personal stories, questioning, and reflection we’ll explore when, where and how race intersects our Christian journey. 

Consider this an advanced class for the study of individual and structural racism and God’s calling to usher in a more just society that reflects the Kingdom of God.

Classes will be held on Zoom; format includes breakout sessions.

Anti-Racism:  What Do I Do Next?

Wednesdays on Zoom | 6:30-7:45 PM
September 2-16

So, you’ve recognized the need for racial justice action in our community, but what do you do now? In this three-week online class led by Resurrection’s Pastor of Community Justice, Rev. Cheryl Jefferson Bell, we will learn to identify opportunities for antiracist action, take a closer look at how racism affects EVERYONE, and develop practical skills to disrupt the racism we encounter in our everyday lives. 

ARJ Small Groups Forming this Fall

You are invited to help form small groups comprised of congregants from St. James & Resurrection.  Eight to ten people come together on Zoom for enlightening conversations on racial justice issues and to build meaningful relationships. We have two 4-week options to get you started. One uses Dr. Martin Luther King’s short book of sermons, “Strength to Love”, and the other uses discussion questions to explore how we can become the Beloved Community Jesus asked us to be.

Register online (one person per registration please) and one of our team members will contact you with details

Racial Justice?

Monday, September 14 | 10:00 AM
Hosted by UMW on Zoom

ARJ members are invited to attend this informational program sponsored by the UMW Maverick Circle.  Cheryl Bell, Resurrection’s Pastor of Community Justice, and Ron L. Smith, retired executive director of the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission’s Second Chance Prisoner Reentry Program, are featured. The program will be available on Zoom. 


Other Information & Activities

March on Kansas City for Justice and Peace

Friday, September 4 | 3-5 PM
12th & Locust to WWI Memorial

“When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.” 
–  Congressman John Lewis  

This march will commemorate the 57th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington DC in 1963.  Sponsored by the Big 3 Civil Rights groups – the SCLC, NAACP and Urban League – it calls for an end to racism, police brutality and supports voting rights and peaceful protest.

National Voter Registration Day – September 22

National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy. First observed in 2012, it has quickly gained momentum ever since. Nearly 3 million voters have registered to vote on the holiday to date. Celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September, National Voter Registration Day takes place on September 22 this year. The holiday has been endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and the National Association of Election Officials (The Election Center). Click here to learn more and be part of this important event. 

Overt and Covert Racism

Most of us recognize and stand solidly against overt expressions of racism such as racial slurs, violence, cross-burnings by the Ku Klux Klan, and practices of blatant racial segregation and discrimination. But overt racism is only the tip of the iceberg.  To find out more go to the UMC Commission on Religion and Race website.

All Voting is Local

All Voting is Local fights to eliminate needless and discriminatory barriers to voting before they happen, to build a democracy that works for us all. Founded in 2018, this young and energetic group is making a difference in eliminating needless and discriminatory barriers to voting before they happen.  It is a collaborative campaign housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the American Constitution Society, the Campaign Legal Center, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  For more information visit https://allvotingislocal.org/  and follow them on Twitter @votingislocal.