Adopted by Broadway United Methodist Church on December 6, 2009
Broadway United Methodist Church has a long standing commitment to inclusion and community, considering any attempts at oppression to be inconsistent to our spiritual journey. It is in this spirit that we seek to acknowledge and address the deep and lasting damage that is caused by racism in this society. Through our study and experience we acknowledge the following:
- That racism is an artificial systemrooted in a belief of the superiority of whiteness and bestows benefits, unearned rights, rewards, opportunities, advantages, access, and privilege in the United States on Europeans and European descendants.
- That the reactions of people of color to racism are internalized through destructive patterns of feelings and behaviors impacting their physical, emotional, and mental health and their spiritual and familial relationships.
- That, through institutionalized racism, laws, customs, traditions, and practices have been put into place into every institution in this country to systemically foster inequalities and continue to enforce white privilege.
- That the journey to anti-racist multiculturalism is not an easy one, because the history of institutionalized racism in this country makes it very easy to miss or underestimate its effects on the local congregation, enslaving both white people and people of color.
In our effort to address the evil of racism that permeates our society and our institutions, and in acknowledgement of our active or passive complicity in perpetuating the traditions that keep institutional racism in force, we the community of Broadway United Methodist Church hereby formally and publicly declare our intention to become an Anti Racist Congregation!
We are aware that this is the beginning of a journey of commitment to a specific part of our general vision made possible only because of previous steps that we as a congregation have taken on the path toward justice. We celebrate that we have been able to arrive at this point together and acknowledge that, although we may not yet be at the point where we have a common awareness of our identity and may not have the common definitions to make our goal a practical reality, we are committed to do the necessary institutional analysis and restructuring to make it happen. This will include a commitment to explore the following actions:
- To embark on a program of study, understanding and analysis that will enable us to develop common definitions and observations regarding racism in our community and strategies for countering and changing any policies or traditions that keep racism in our institution.
- To develop accountable relationships individually, among the members of the congregation, and communally, with other communities that will speak truth and compassion to one another, in order to be able to evaluate our progress and fidelity to our goal.
- To become a witness, both internally and externally, of our commitment and our goals, acknowledging both our successes and our failures along our journey, so that we may maintain a public presence in this issue.
We are ultimately aware that this will not be a quick fix, and that the process that we are outlining is one that may take decades to show significant progress, since we are working with a deeply ingrained set of individual and institutional habits. However, we realize that this process, as part of our commitment to inclusion, is necessary for our very survival as an institution and we humbly ask the grace of God to help us in our commitment and our journey.