Repenting of America’s Original Sin is a virtual book discussion series hosted by the Kohl Family

america's original sin book cover

YMCA and based on the New York Times bestseller America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America. Advance reading of the book is strongly encouraged (though not required!!) and participants may check their local library or download the Hoopla app to borrow it. There is also an option to purchase a copy ($5, while supplies last) through the Kohl Family Y. Contact Lisa Ennis at (330) 434-9622 for purchase details. Book orders can be placed through the Kohl Y starting at noon on January 18th immediately following the first meeting. You can also support local, black-owned bookstore Elizabeth's Bookshop, by purchasing from the link above.

Weeks One and Two will be focused on introductory work. Week Three will begin discussion about the book. 

This event is free, open to the public, and will take place via Zoom on January 18th – March 8th, Mondays only, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM. The discussion facilitator is Janet V. Black, Chair of the Christian Emphasis Committee at the Kohl Family Y.

Scripture passages, video clips, and excerpts from the book will support discussion throughout the series. Participants will look at the legacy of racism in the U.S., examine ways to “change the narrative of racial division,” and explore specific actions to combat racism.

Systemic racism continues to be a sin-stain on the soul of the United States. It touches every aspect of American life, placing people of color at a constant disadvantage and missing the mark of love to which God calls us. People of faith have a responsibility to reject the sin of racism, to turn away from it, and to chart a path toward a “Beloved Community.” Participation in this discussion series is a first step.

To register for this important event, click the button below. Registration ends on Monday, January 25th. Limited space available.



Janet Black

Janet V. Black is the chair of the Christian Emphasis Committee at the Kohl Family YMCA in Akron. In her role there, Ms. Black develops and supports programs and activities that focus on the Y’s Christian mission.

Beginning her career in juvenile corrections, Ms. Black has over 40 years of experience in human and social services, working primarily for agencies that support the empowerment of girls and women. She has facilitated workshops and been a guest speaker on a range of subjects, including diversity & cultural competence, violence against women, and issues concerning the LGBTQ+ community.

In addition to her volunteer service with the Kohl Family Y, Ms. Black participates in the Neighborhood Network, is a PTA member, a Girl Scout leader, and a long-time member of Emmanuel Fellowship Church in Akron where she leads the Outreach & Fellowship ministries.

Ms. Black has three children and six grandchildren. She shares her life in Akron with her spouse, Laura, and their awesome 13-year-old granddaughter.