[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society has posted a new research report, The Church’s Contemporary Response to Racism, detailing the response of The Episcopal Church to racism, presented by the Archives of The Episcopal Church.
“Now we have a researched, documented, vetted, historical narrative that forms the foundation for viewing where the church has stood and how it has progressed or, in many cases, not progressed, in its work on becoming anti-racists,” commented Lelanda Lee of Colorado, Executive Council member and chair of its Advocacy and Networking Committee at the Executive Council meeting. “Now we have the foundation on which we can stand altogether to point our way forward to the work that remains to be done.”
Areas addressed in the report include: Early Recognition of the Effects of Racism, 1954-1978; Naming and Confronting the Church’s Racism, 1979-1989; Initiating Anti-Racism Training, 1990-1999; Anti-Racism as Sustained Cultural Competency, 2000-2014. Additionally, the report contains a complete list of General Convention and Executive Council resolutions approved over the decades.
Key points of the report in the Summary offer an overview of the recognition of racism, response, and training and curriculum offerings. “Racism had to be recognized before it could be addressed,” the summary states. “These changes in place, Church bodies were equipped to turn to confronting racism as an internal blight. General Convention pushed for greater self-examination and Church-wide awareness training, and Council began to respond with expectations of staff.”