B004 Encouraging the Language of Dismantling Racism and Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation

Original version

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That this 79th General Convention request that all task forces, commissions, committees, parishes, centers and individuals in The Episcopal Church involved in the work of dismantling racism and seeking to foster racial healing and reconciliation refrain from the use of the term anti-racism to designate or describe any portion of that work; and be it further

Resolved, That the terms to be utilized to describe such work shall be Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation.

Explanation

Since racism has been identified in our church as our original sin and the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church issued resolutions urging us to focus our efforts on dismantling racism, we need to re-imagine our approach to that work.
Language is a critical part of the equation and it is unproductive to continue to use language from a past era which does not serve to inspire the work of the present in ways that will help to move the work forward.
The term “anti-racism” is too small to encompass the expansive racial healing, justice and reconciliation work that needs to be embraced in the 21st Century. And it does not invite an intergenerational response because it merely speaks of being against racism rather than embodying the idea of what the outcome of the work to dismantle racism is seeking.
The term “anti-racism” implies that little movement has been made toward a deeper understanding of the nature of the healing work that must be done before racist structures can be dismantled and the need to embrace that work with the head and the heart.
The terms Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation allow those of us who are engaging in the work of removing the racist structures that hinder the realization of The Beloved Community to focus upon what we hope to achieve and what we are committed to supporting rather than merely stating what we are against. These terms help to make it clearer that the work intends to create spaces for transformation to occur.


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