Call to Action on Racial Justice
Since the 2017 Annual Conference Session, more than 500 people have made a covenant to actively participate in dismantling racism - we thank God for them! With your help, we will have over 1,000 by the 2019 Annual Conference. If you are among the 500, you should have received an email on October 26 or 28 asking for an update. If you are not yet among the 500 covenant with us today!
The NEJ Call to Action is a resolution passed in July 2016 by the Northeastern Jurisdiction (NEJ) authored by Tracy Bass, Joseph Daniels, William Meekins, Derrick Porter, Denise Smartt Sears, Lillian Smith, and Varlyna Wright. The resolution calls for “an effort to address, confront, and otherwise demand systemic fundamental and institutional change both within the church and the world...”
- A Call to Action Steering Committee comprised of two Call to Action authors, five General/Jurisdictional Conference delegates and persons serving in roles that are associated with items mentioned above
hasbeen formed. Moving forward, The Discipleship Council will be responsible for its oversight.
- The Call to Action Steering Committee has determined that the BWC approach will:
- Be rooted in building relationships and creating a culture that allows all persons and cultures to feel safe in having needed conversations and confronting racism;
- Intentionally embed cultural competency and anti-bias work throughout BWC’s existing networks and gatherings;
- Uplift what is happening at the grassroots level;
- Invite congregations to engage in conversations and experiences that help them take the next step toward becoming racial justice change agents;
- Identify natural places to include training and conversations (right leaders, appropriate process) for all conference leaders (including camp counselors); and
- Incorporate better accountability into our systems.
- Our Conference Board of Ordained Ministry is implementing ongoing training in cultural competency and is creating new cultural competency questions for candidates.
- Our Conference Commission on Religion and Race (CCORR) has provided copies of the Vital Conversations Series 1: Realities of Race and Racism, produced by the UMC General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), for all BWC congregations/clergy which can be used as a basis for congregational conversations. It includes a study guide and DVD that features contemporary theologians, sociologists, laity, clergy, and other thought-leaders dealing with challenges of race, culture, and oppression in the Church and
- in collaboration with the NEJ Multi-Ethnic
Centerwe host a NEJ Call to Action Summit annually. This year it will be held on October 26-27 where we will dream, discover, discuss and dismantle.
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- Get to know someone who doesn’t look or think like you. Download this resource sheet for help with that.
- Be aware of your own implicit biases. You can start by taking the Implicit Association Test on race. Learn more.
- Name and address racism when you witness it and work toward being at least a level-4 change agent! (see diagram below)
- Have a conversation during your leadership meeting about our United Methodist Preamble and Social Principles as they relate to race and the Gospel.
- Invite your leadership team to take the online Implicit Association Test on race and use the Implicit Bias Workbook to discuss the results as a team, and then follow-up with relevant actions.
- Host or participate in Vital Conversations with your congregation and/or explore additional UM resources --including the racial justice reading list.
- Become a Beloved Community Hub which includes a training component, a six-month journey of vital conversations in cross-racial and/or cross-cultural groups followed by a discerned collective action in the wider community.
- Be a part of the BWC Racial Justice team which helps resource and implement various aspects of BWC’s response to the NEJ Call to Action along with its advocacy and action work.
- Bring a friend with you to the reCALL Summit on October 18-19, 2019.
- Journey with others in Retracing the Steps of Freedom on April 6-11, 2019 in Alabama with Rev. Dr. C. Anthony Hunt.
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