Common Memory Project

$2,565 of $100k goal

Raised by 29 people in 17 months
Mark Charles  WASHINGTON, DC
Ya'at'eeh. I am Mark Charles. Over the past several years, I have been working hard through speaking events and writing projects to educate our nation on the Doctrine of Discovery and its current-day impact on American racial dynamics and systemic injustices. As I have exposed this little known piece of history, audiences are shocked to learn about it but also very receptive to have the whole truth and history laid out before them. In the spirit of this quote that I press forward, "Where community is to be formed, common memory must be created." (Georges Erasmus, Canadian Aboriginal leader)

I am excited to annouce that I will be co-authoring a book with Soong-Chan Rah called Truth Be Told: The Doctrine of Discovery and the Root Cause of Racial Injustice, to be published with InterVaristy Press. We will be working to complete the book this next year.

I am also continuing to arrange speaking events and writing with Native News Online.

I am raising money to supplement my family's income in this work and to expand this project with additional support services. While speaking events and writing projects pay some, additional funds are needed for travel expenses and a personal assistant to handle communication and scheduling. My wife, Rachel, contributes to this work as well through writing, editing, and the details.

If you desire to contribute to the work of creating a "common memory," we welcome and are deeply grateful for your contributions.

Thank you!

*We currently do not have 501(c)(3) status. If you need a tax deductible receipt please contact us via email before donating.
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Update 4
Posted by Mark Charles
11 months ago
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Ya'at'eeh and greetings from my flight from Washington DC to Chicago. This week I am traveling to Minnesota and for 3 days will spend time in Minneapolis, St. Paul and on the Fond du Lac reservation. I frequently am invited to speak about the Doctrine of Discovery around the country but recently concluded that I needed to be even more proactive in this work. For that reason, I am beginning to initiate some of my own travel. This allows me to be more proactive in starting conversation and connecting with partners and work that is already taking place. And this trip to Minnesota is a great example of that. I am personally connected with several partners and 2 different churches that are working extensively with the Doctrine of Discovery in the Minneapolis area. This trip will allow me to learn more about what they are doing, partner with them in a few events, make plans for future work and speak at a University that I have not previously been connected with (Bethel University in St. Paul). The positive side of initiating travel like I am doing this week is the opportunity to be more strategic in the partners I work with and the projects I am connected to. The challenge of initiating travel like this is that most of the expenses and my time are unfunded. But it is challenges like this which is why we began our crowdfunding campaign. The Doctrine of Discovery is a difficult and shameful part of American and Church history. It is not something that most people, congregations, communities or organizations are eager to engage with. Because of that, the model of speaking only where I am invited (and paid) to speak is not the best way to address this deeply buried injustice. I am convinced that if a broader conversation regarding race is to be started, then the Doctrine of Discovery needs to be taught in as many places as possible. I thank you deeply for your support and partnership of this work in the past and would like to invite you to continue partnering with us this week to help fund this trip to Minnesota, and many others like it, in the future.

Ahe'hee',

Mark (and Rachel) Charles
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Update 3
Posted by Mark Charles
12 months ago
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Ya'at'eeh my friends. After nearly a month at home spending time with family, writing, and speaking at a few local events, the month of March is over and April is shaping up to be quite busy. Next week Friday and Saturday I will be speaking at a conference in Atlanta GA called "Back to the Garden...Into the City - Deconstructing Walls of Injustice." The next week I will be speaking to some students in Portland OR. And the following week I am flying to Chicago to teach at The Emmaus Community church. Saturday April 16 I will be presenting seminars about the Doctrine of Discovery and Truth and Conciliation. And on Sunday April 17 I will be preaching regarding the Biblical dynamics of Power and Authority. The next week I will again return to Chicago. On Thursday April 21st, I will be speaking in Chapel at North Park Seminary. And then on Friday April 22 I will be presenting at North Park University for Earth Day regarding the Doctrine of Discovery and its negative influence on our ability to care for creation. That evening and the following day I am working with a local partner to organize a few more events both for students and other partner churches in Chicago regarding the Doctrine of Discovery. And on Sunday April 27, I will be preaching at River City Community Church in Chicago. Finally, the last week of April I will be traveling with some partners from CRU and IVCF to make plans for the upcoming Would Jesus Eat Frybread Conference.

I am very excited about the month of April. I have many pre-arranged events and invitations to preach and speak about the Doctrine of Discovery, but I am also taking initiative to work with partners in both Chicago and Portland to setup and organize events in an effort to intentionally initiate some conversations with various communities. As a result, some of my events are funded and pay an adequate honorarium, but some of them are not. I deeply appreciate your encouragement and partnership. It is support from people like yourself that is helping us to take more initiative with this work and to engage more conversations around the country.

Ahe'hee',

Mark and Rachel Charles
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Update 2
Posted by Mark Charles
13 months ago
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Ya'at'eeh,

I would like to thank you for your past participation in our Crowdfunding campaign. The month of February has been extremely busy and I was thrilled at the many doors God opened for me to speak and engage with audiences regarding the Doctrine of Discovery and Truth and Conciliation. I had the privilege of speaking at Summit University in Scranton PA, Wheaton College in Chicago, Mission Year in Philadelphia, Nyack College in New York and to some InterVarsity students right here in Washington DC. As the political climate is getting more charged and polarized, I am finding an amazing openness in people to learn about and discuss systemic issues like the Doctrine of Discovery.
 
I am continuing to find that as I speak with increasing clarity about the idea for a national Truth and Conciliation Commission in 2021, people are not only seeing the need for both the church and the country to engage in this dialogue, but are wanting to be involved and helping in very tangible and practical ways. In the past 3 weeks alone, I have received messages from several people offering to volunteer with our work.
 
The month ahead is less busy with travel and speaking engagements, but more filled with writing and video projects. For the past few weeks I have been working on an article for Leaven regarding the Doctrine of Discovery and War. LEAVEN’S objective is to make theological reflection about Christian ministry accessible to the modern reader. I also recently published an article on my blog titled "Why I didn't take Communion at Urbana 2015" ( http://wirelesshogan.blogspot.com/2016/03/why-i-didnt-take-communion-at-urbana.html). This article has been read fairly widely and I have received some very good feedback from it. I am also planning to do some writing for my upcoming book as well as a few more articles for my blog and Native News Online.
 
I am also taking some time during this lull in my travel is to create some video resources regarding the Doctrine of Discovery. About 3 weeks ago I produced a video titled "What is the Doctrine of Discovery (in 7 minutes)" ( https://youtu.be/N3oc84aLC-Q) and just this week I released another video titled "Flags behind Columbus statue in Washington DC flying at half mast" ( https://youtu.be/f-oKBcFohyI). The first video describes what the Doctrine of Discovery is and how it has influenced the founding documents on our nation. The second video is a reflection I shared regarding the movement in our nation to re-appropriate Columbus day as a Native American Heritage Day. Both videos are getting a fair amount of views and initiating some needed discussion.
 
This past month Rachel sent out our first regular newsletter to our ever growing mailing list. Over the past year people have been signing up for a mailing list on my website. We started this list to communicate regarding the work on a Truth and Conciliation Commission. So far over 400 people have signed up and Rachel is taking the lead in communicating with this group.
 
Once again, thank you for your financial partnership and continued encouragement in this work. The majority of our income continues to come through my public speaking, but I think the most influence is taking place through my writing and our online video resources, which currently generate very little income. Your giving to our crowdfunding campaign helps us greatly in months like this one, when I am not traveling and speaking publically but am home with my family and focusing on other much needed aspects of our work.
 
Ahe'hee'
 
Mark and Rachel Charles
Speak Up Philly - courtesy of Kris Eden
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Update 1
Posted by Mark Charles
15 months ago
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Ya'at'eeh everyone. We decided to do a video update this month. Please watch to learn about the Truth and Conciliation Commission that I am proposing for 2021. Ahe'hee' for your partnership.
Introduction to Truth and Conciliation
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Read a Previous Update
Ben Stoner
12 months ago

We will be praying for you and your family as you travel and speak. May God's message come through loud and clear, Mark. We love you.

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$2,565 of $100k goal

Raised by 29 people in 17 months
Created November 11, 2015
Mark Charles  
$50
John Bush
2 months ago

I saw your talk in the January Series from Calvin College. I'm not Native American (as far as I know), but I live in Oklahoma and am interested in history, so I already knew something about the sad history of genocide and atrocities against the Native peoples. Your talk helped fill in some "puzzle pieces" that I wasn't aware of.

JB
$100
Jack Buss
3 months ago
$25
Patrick Watters
4 months ago

Wopila tanka Mark!

OO
$30
Oladeji Odumosu
4 months ago

Support Mark Charles' effort towards biblical racial justice in the United States.

$25
Patrick Watters
4 months ago

Wopila tanka Mark! Mitakuye oyasin!

ES
$50
Eric Spaar
5 months ago
AW
$25
Andrew Wetzel
10 months ago (Monthly Donation)
NC
$100
Nick Campbell
11 months ago
$50
Mike Hotz
11 months ago

Praying that resources will flow so that you can continue opening eyes.

RB
$100
Russ Barclay
11 months ago

Continue to be a Truth Teller. Thank you for your commitment and your work.

Ben Stoner
12 months ago

We will be praying for you and your family as you travel and speak. May God's message come through loud and clear, Mark. We love you.

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