Archive for category Anti-Racism
How are people in Friends General Conference (FGC) creating community that is accessible, equitable, and transformational? FGC’s task force on our “Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism within FGC” offered this summary of the ongoing work as of November of 2018:
“Two years after Friends General Conference’s governing body approved the initiation of an institutional assessment on systemic racism within FGC, a summary with recommendations and a full report are now available.
Based on these, FGC’s governing body, Central Committee, has approved a minute to commit FGC to becoming an anti-racist organization in a multi-year process. There was strong unity in the body, which gives hope to many.”
The full report notes that “This will be a multi-year process to uproot from within ourselves the on-going reality of white supremacy that spiritually harms us all.”
Last weekend, FGC’s Executive Committee approved the names for a task force charged with implementing the recommendations and moving the work forward within FGC and with FGC Friends. Stay tuned for further developments.
You can read an interview with the co‐clerks of the original Task Force from the January 2019 issue of Friends Journal.
Marvin Barnes (Birmingham) and Caroline Lejuste (Red Cedar), Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Friends, served on the Task Force. LEYM and individual LEYM meetings have contributed generously toward FGC’s Institutional Assessment. A number of LEYM Friends serve on FGC working groups, committees, Central Committee (the governing body), and Executive Committee.
We are so grateful for your words of support as well as your prayers for our community and our nation. It makes a significant difference in these moments to be reminded of the connections we have with each other.
Recognizing the unique role of guns in this violence, we approved the attached minute at our November Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.
Like you, we want this and all similar events to translate into Spirit-led action. Right now there are immediate needs – if you’re led to make financial contributions, THIS link supports families of the victims. The roots of this violence are deep, however, and we pray that the tragedy also renews our vigor, dedication, and perseverance in addressing those. A sampling of ideas that have surfaced for us so far include:
- Reassuring immigrants in our communities that they are welcome and have our support – they know their presence in this country was a motivation for the violence.
- Establishing relationships, or deeper relationships, with any group that feels outside of our normal circle (potentially the Orthodox community, people of other political persuasions, or any number of other groups)
- Increased pressure on technology companies and elected officials to take responsibility for the social effects of their platforms
There are many other potential actions on individual, group, and institutional levels. Hillel the Elder’s words sound the clarion call more than ever – “If not now, when?” We pray that all of us will find ways to let our lives speak powerfully to these times.
In the Light,
Kathie Hollingshead, Susan Loucks, and Richard Shaw
Clerks, Pittsburgh Friends Meeting
Pittsburgh Meeting: Minute Responding to Gun Violence in our Society
Lake Erie Yearly Meeting strongly supports FGC’s Institutional Assessment on Racism with both donations and participation. The Assessment is looking at where FGC Friends currently stand in being complicit with the institutionalized racism that permeates North American culture and how Quakers can move toward being anti-racist in our culture and institutions.
Three Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Friends serve on the Institutional Assessment Task Force: Marvin Barnes (Birmingham Meeting), Carolyn Lejuste (Red Cedar), and Dwight Wilson (Ann Arbor). The Task Force has just provided an update on the progress of their work as they prepare to bring recommendations for change to FGC’s governing body, Central Committee, later in October.
More recent news as of 11/10/18