C011 Anti-Racism Training for Deputies and Alternates

At the 73rd General Convention in Denver, Resolution 2000-B049 (https://www.episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts/acts_resolution-complete.pl?resolution=2000-B049) required “lay and ordained leadership of the Episcopal Church, including all ordained persons, professional staff, and those elected or appointed to positions of leadership on committees, commissions, agencies, and boards be required to take anti-racism training and receive certification of such training.” It further required “that each diocese select and authorize appropriate programs that will be used at the diocesan and parochial levels” and that “each province and diocese […] determine those lay and clergy leaders who are to take the training”.  

Deputies and alternates to General Convention were not explicitly included in the resolution’s list of leaders, but many dioceses, including Oregon, have since included them in their designation of leaders who must take the training.  This resolution would make such training for deputies and alternates the policy across the church.

Since GC 2012, the General Convention’s Joint Standing Committee on Nominations has been tracking compliance with the anti-racism training requirement for elected churchwide leadership (Church Pension Fund Trustee, Disciplinary Board for Bishops, Executive Council, General Board of Examining Chaplains, General Theological Seminary Trustee, and the Officers of General Convention). These reports illustrate a trend towards compliance among elected positions from 76% (GC 2012), to 84% (GC 2015), and 85% (GC 2018).  However, there has been no comparable organized means of collecting data on the extent of compliance with this mandate at other levels of the Church, neither data on participation in training nor information on what each entity requires in the way of training. 

The General Convention is the governing body of The Episcopal Church, adopting its canons and policies, electing its officers.  The Bishops are already covered by the 2000 training requirement, as are many members of the House of Deputies due to other positions of leadership they may have.  It is important that all the members of the House of Deputies take part in anti-racism training to inform their decision making.  Extending the 2000 B029 mandate to explicitly cover Deputies will ensure that the intent of that resolution to cover all leaders is met. 

The Episcopal Church has long recognized its complicity in racism and its call to self-examination, repentance and reform. Since 2015, in response to Resolution 2015-C019: Work for Racial Justice and Reconciliation (https://www.episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts/acts_resolution-complete.pl?resolution=2015-C019) – it has been building the framework of Becoming Beloved Community. This response to systemic racial injustice enhances the capacity of The Episcopal Church to work in communities to organize and advocate against and work to dismantle systems, policies and practices that reinforce violence and acts that perpetuate the sin of racism.  Making sure that every leader is appropriately trained is an important step toward an anti-racist future.