By: The JTM Team
The United Church of Christ has a long history of addressing and advocating for an end to racist policies and practices, including systemic and institutional racism within the Christian church. In 2003 General Synod 24 adopted a resolution calling for the UCC to be an antiracist church stating that “racism is rooted in a belief of the superiority of whiteness and bestows benefits, unearned rights, rewards, opportunities, advantages, access, and privilege on Europeans and European descendants.”
Through the Join the Movement toward Racial Justice initiative we are making explicit and concrete our antiracist commitments so that the UCC might live more fully into the historic efforts we’ve made to becoming and antiracist denomination. We are building on the revolutionary work of our freedom-making ancestors as we cultivate intersectional movements with healing and repair at the center and align ourselves with the movement of the Spirit toward justice.
Every setting of the UCC, from local churches to global partners, has a role to play in expanding our practices of antiracism and strengthening our capacities as partners and participants in the burgeoning racial justice movements of our time.
To equip us on this journey toward racial justice,
we are calling on the whole church to engage in an all-church read of
Ibram X. Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist.
Blurring the lines between memoir, history and social analysis, Kendi’s book invites readers into the moment by moment work of creating greater racial equity. By sharing stories of his own journey, he helps illuminate how each one of us is being presented with opportunities both large and small, both individually and systemically, to build a more just world through our policies and practices. We hope you will take this opportunity to lean into understanding and dismantling racism based on biology, ethnicity, body, culture, behavior, color, space and class, as you equip yourselves for the intersectional struggle for racial justice that addresses overlapping networks of oppression and bigotry.
As Kendi says in his introduction, “This book is ultimately about the basic struggle we’re all in, the struggle to be fully human and to see that others are fully human.” As people of faith, we know that this kind of loving regard is an essential part of our discipleship. We hope you’ll join together with so many others in exploring how this book and these antiracist practices can move us toward racial justice!
Download a transcript of the video here.
Through the UCC Frontline Faith portal, we are pleased to offer
Access these materials by registering here.
Don’t forget to register for the Join the Movement toward Racial Justice dinner featuring Ibram X. Kendi. He will discuss his newest work How to Raise an Antiracist and the work of building racial justice futures with emerging generations.
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