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Engaging in Racial Justice Work- What can we do?

by | May 26, 2021 | Religion and Race

By Desert Southwest Conference Commission on Religion and Race

As Christians, we continue to stand in this liminal space between the full realization of God’s kingdom on earth & our ongoing sinful nature. As we continue to be in this space, CCORR continues to grapple with the question of what can we do? What can we do as individuals as we struggle with our ability to make changes? And collectively, how can we use the opportunity to do intentional work around understanding how our unconscious bias is doing harm? In the tradition of John Wesley, we seek to do no harm, do good, and stay in love with God. Loving God means loving one another as Christ loves us. Knowing we need to engage in careful work to correct our brokenness, CCORR asked leadership from across the Annual Conference to engage in an Inclusion & Diversity Task Force. This task force examined ways our Annual Conference can do better, specifically in intercultural understanding through concrete action. Specific goals were identified to begin working toward educating and training leaders, churches, and congregation members so we can collectively push against the brokenness of our system. Those goals can be found here: https://dscumc.org/religion-and-race/

Because of our desire to fully include all of God’s children in the life and ministry of our Annual Conference, CCORR is bringing legislation to begin addressing systemic sins born of racism (linked below). Please take the time to review the links in this document so you can be informed of the work CCORR has done leading up to this legislative proposal. We also encourage you to read Anxious to Talk About It: Helping White Christians Talk Faithfully about Racism by Carolyn B. Helsel and Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum. These books examine systemic racism and cultural identity development. If you have any questions about the work of CCORR or the legislation being presented at this year’s Annual Conference, please contact Javier Olivares or Khalif Smith. Please join us in prayerful discernment as we engage in justice work for the equity of all God’s children who call the Desert Southwest Conference of The United Methodist Church home.

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About the author

Javier Olivares

West District Superintendent

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