Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 79th General Convention recognizes that widely different criteria have been used across the Church to determine if the completion of anti-racism training defined by Canon Article III.6.5(g) Training and General Convention Resolution has been satisfied; and be it further
Resolved: That The Episcopal Church (TEC) recognizes that in order to maintain a common theological framework and pastorally congruent response regarding our commitment to dismantle the sin of racism, specific components must be included in any Anti-racism or Racial Reconciliation training designed to fulfill the canonical requirement for all persons seeking ordination and all persons specified in General Convention Resolution 2000-B049; and be it further
Resolved, That the specific components that must be included in any Anti-racism or Racial Reconciliation training are as follows: 1) an Historical Component - to include Canonical Requirements, Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society’s Historical Commitment found in General Convention resolutions, “The Church’s Contemporary Response to Racism”, and “Becoming Beloved Community”, 2) an Information OR Didactic Component - to include The Baptismal Covenant, Power, Class, The Doctrine of Discovery, Race, Racism, Internalized Racial Privilege, Internalized Racial Oppression, Becoming Co-conspirators, Recognizing Racial Reconciliation, and 3) ACTIVITIES - to include Prayer, Respectful Communication Guidelines, and other activities as indicated to accomplish learning objectives for historical and informational components; and be it further
Resolved, That Executive Council’s Committee on Anti-racism will create an Anti-racism Certification Framework to more completely define the above components; and be it further
Resolved, That TEC staff shall work with the Executive Committee on Anti-Racism (ECCAR) to implement a certification process which would allow for on-line testing of clergy, laity, and trainers to ensure the consistent fulfillment of the spirit of the requirement for anti-racism training across the Church according to the Anti-racism Certification Framework defined by the Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism; and be it further
Resolved, That TEC staff will provide an annual report to ECCAR on the status of use and effectiveness of the certification process.
The Episcopal Church Canon Article III.6.5(g) Training currently requires Anti-Racism “training” of all ordained persons and lay leadership. General Convention Resolution 2000-B049 states:
“Resolved, That beginning on September 1, 2000 the 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; and be it further
Resolved, That the Executive Council select and authorize appropriate programs that will be used
at the national level; that each province select and authorize appropriate programs that will be
used at the provincial level; and that each diocese select and authorize appropriate programs that
will be used at the diocesan and parochial levels, each province and diocese to determine those lay and clergy leaders who are to take the training; and be it further
Resolved, That the Standing Commission on National Concerns continues to develop a list of such
appropriate resources; and be it further
Resolved, That each national committee, commission, agency, and board, and each province and
diocese maintain a register of those who are trainers and those who have been trained, and
forward this information to the Executive Council by January 1, 2003, and every two years
thereafter, and the Council report on this information to the 74th and 75th General Conventions.”
ECCAR is mandated to monitor “compliance of anti-racism legislation passed by General Convention” and to develop “criteria for the credentialing of certified anti-racism trainers” (GC 2012-A161 and GC 2015 A022). Committee members have reported that our church, at multiple levels, is not in full compliance with the requirement of anti-racism training. The Committee believes there are three reasons for this: 1) lack of definition for what constitutes “anti-racism training”, 2) lack of availability of “certified” trainers, and 3) lack of an easy to follow process for certification.
Lack of Definition of What Constitutes “Anti-racism Training”
Engaging in the work of eliminating the sin of racism and “Repairing the Breach” as described by the Becoming Beloved Community long-term commitment plan requires that clergy and laity are properly equipped to engage in racial reconciliation. The Executive Council’s Committee on Anti-racism has spent the last triennium collecting data that has revealed a variety of methodologies are used throughout the church. We have found that in some dioceses no training is provided.
In addition, the Committee noted in 2015, with strong concern, that increasingly some entities within TEC are providing insufficient anti-racism training. They are providing workshop programming (e.g., 2-3 hour programs) which only provides an incomplete awareness of what racism is and its negative impacts on our society. Research on learning and development leads us to believe that only longer training programming (e.g., 8-14 hours) can truly teach the knowledge and skills necessary to eliminate the sin of racism and facilitate racial reconciliation.
While we applaud the growing use of customized, shorter anti-racism “programming,” we strongly urge that the Church needs to understand the difference between “programming” and “training”, and that the two are not interchangeable.
The committee has concluded that the components identified in the resolution - informational and pragmatic - will strengthen our life together as a denomination that understands the intricate ways in which the sin of racism infects individuals, congregations, and communities. Informational and pragmatic components are offered as a panacea to the current disparity that exists between trainings that are currently offered. Is expected that some components will be adapted to local culture.
The work of ECCAR in establishing the Anti-racism Training Framework outlined in this resolution will clarify what constitutes anti-racism training throughout the church which should make it easier for training to be developed and delivered that will, in fact, clergy and laity to carry out the work of eliminating the sin of racism and bringing about racial reconciliation.
Lack of Availability of Certified Trainers
During the 2009 General Convention the position of Anti-Racism Officer was discontinued and so, too, were church-wide anti-racism ‘Train-the-Trainer programs.” Because of this, the list of certified trainers is no longer available. Yet the anti-racism training requirement remains in effect.
The Committee has heard stories where individuals and parishes (especially in more rural areas) have chosen not to seek training because they could either not find a certified trainer or they could not afford one. Thus, they could not “check the box” in Ordination paperwork or committee appointment records to confirm that anti-racism training had been completed. This resolution seeks to make it easier for trainers to be certified through a well-defined, easy to follow certification process which will make it easier for more trainers to be engaged to deliver training.
Lack of a Well-Defined, Easy to Follow Process for Certification
Another mandate of the Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism is to eliminate the sin of racism by “…developing criteria for the credentialing of certified anti-racism trainers…” The Committee feels it has been well documented that various diocese use different criteria to certify completion of the anti-racism training requirements for clergy and lay leaders. The Committee feels this inequity is neither fair not helpful in the Church’s efforts to eliminate the sin of racism.
This resolution seeks to create a single certification process that, leveraging technology, is easily accessible across the Church and includes the criteria for certification of those having taken anti-racism training according to the Anti-Racism Training Framework previously mentioned.
ECCAR Committee Chair, Mr. James McKim who has 30+ years of experience leading organizations and IT projects, has met with current TEC IT Director Darvin Darling to review the certification process proposed by the Committee. Mr. Darvin has indicated that his staff should be able to implement this process with no additional funding shortly after General Convention.
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