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Amended: Acknowledging & Confronting Systemic Racism, White Supremacy, & Anti-Black Bias

Resolution #7

Here you will find the final text of Resolution #7, Acknowledging & Confronting Systemic Racism, White Supremacy, & Anti-Black Bias, with a PDF available to download below. A Spanish translation will be forthcoming.

English

Submitted by:
The Rev. Deacon Ellen Adams, The Rev. Taylor Albright, Dr. Jilda Aliotta, The Rev. Keri Aubert, Ms. June Aziz, The Rev. Mary Barnett, The Rev. Wilfredo Benitez, The Rev. Robert Bergner, Mr. Douglas Bowman, The Rev. Darryl Burke, Dr. Suzy Burke, Ms. Adrienne Joy Burns, The Rev. Deacon Donald F. Burr II, The Rev. Peter Bushnell, The Rev. Dana Campbell, The Rev. Dr. Paul J. Carling, The Rev. Canon Dr. Robert G. Carroon, Ms. April Carter, The Rev. Canon Dr. Barbara Cheney, The Rev. Canon K. Dexter Cheney, The Rev. Sandra Cosman, The Rev. Dr. Justin Crisp, The Rev. Dr. Luk De Volder, The Rev. Debra Ann Dodd, The Rev. Curtis Farr, The Rev. Anne Fraley, Dr. Barbara Galbreath, Ms. Claudia Gwardyak, The Rev. Marcus Halley, The Rev. Dr. Donald Hamer, The Rev. Canon Rebekah Hatch, The Rev. Robert C. Hooper III, The Very Rev. Miguelina Howell, The Rev. Deacon Pat Jackson, The Rev. Thomas C. Jackson, The Rev. Deacon Shancia Jarrett, The Rev. Stephanie Johnson, The Rev. Yves-Eugene Joseph, The Rev. Deacon Jessie O. Karpf, The Rev. Lois Keen, The Rev. Rowena J. Kemp, The Rev. Lucy LaRocca, The Rev. Matthew Lindeman, The Rev. Eddie Lopez, The Rev. Jose L. Martinez, The Rev. Ranjit K. Mathews, The Rev. Kathryn Greene-McCreight, The Rev. Deborah Meister, The Rev. Shariya Molegoda, The Rev. Loyda Morales, The Rev. Deacon Stephen Nagy, The Rev. Joseph Pace, The Rev. Canon Jorge Pallares, The Rev. Deacon Kyle Pedersen, The Rev. Ann Perrott, The Rev. Deacon Diane M. Peterson, Ms. Kathleen Peterson, The Rev. Joan Phelps, The Rev. Susan Pinkerton, The Rev. Deacon Felix Rivera, The Rev. Diana Rogers, The Rev. Marissa Rohrbach, Ms. Sue Roman, The Rev. Tuesday Jane Rupp, The Rev. Tracy Johnson Russell, The Rev. Amjad Samuel, The Rev. Norma Schmidt, Ms. Jennifer Seibyl, Ms. Georgia Service, Ms. Angela Shelley, The Rev. Linda Spiers, The Rev. Timothy J. Squier, Ms. Nancy Staniewicz, Ms. Valarie Stanley, The Rev. Pam Strobel, The Rev. Deacon Heidi Thorsen, The Rev. Heidi Truax, The Rev. Peter Walsh, The Rev. Jim Wheeler, and Ms. Lisa Yarbor

Resolved, that the 236th Convention declare that social and racial justice are core values rooted in the Gospel and central to furthering God’s mission in and through the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT), and that God calls us to acknowledge, confront, and dismantle racism, white supremacy, and anti-Black bias in our nation and in ECCT; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention pledge to respect the dignity of all individuals, and to work to create inclusive environments within our Parishes, our Worshipping Communities, our Intentional Episcopal Communities, and the wider ECCT that nurture and allow all of God’s children to succeed, grow, be respected and valued, to contribute to the building up of the Body of Christ, and to share in the benefits and rewards of those contributions; and be further

Resolved, that this Convention ask the Bishop Diocesan to create a senior, full-time staff position with necessary and appropriate funding, support staff, and program resources, to direct and coordinate the efforts of ECCT and its Parishes, Worshipping Communities, and Intentional Episcopal Communities in furthering the purposes of this resolution; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention encourage the Bishop Diocesan to ensure that all ECCT staff complete an anti-racism training program such as Undoing Racism training offered by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond or similar program; and be it further

Resolved, that all clergy; all paid staff; all governing lay leaders of Parishes, Worshipping Communities, and Intentional Episcopal Communities; and those elected and/or appointed to any diocesan-wide office, complete an anti-racism training program such as Undoing Racism training offered by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond or a similar program, which training must be completed within the first year of service following election; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention commend to the Bishops that dismantling racism, white supremacy, and anti-Black bias be the focus of their next round of visitations with Parishes, Worshipping Communities, and Intentional Episcopal Communities, and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention direct each Parish, Worshipping Community, and Intentional Episcopal Community to take steps to discover and document historic complicity in racism in their parish and communities; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention ask the bishops to add the completion of the addendum to the Annual Parochial Report voted at the 234th Annual Convention regarding participation in racial healing, justice, and reconciliation, in order for a Parish to be considered in good standing; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention direct the bishops to create a task force whose membership will consist of a majority of clergy and laity of color, with an invitation to all clergy of color canonically resident in ECCT to serve on the task force, in order to study and make specific recommendations to the 237th Convention as to reparations by ECCT and individual Parishes, Worshipping Communities, and Intentional Episcopal Communities in partial compensation for 400 years of discrimination and bias based on race.

Resolved, that Convention ask the Bishops, if they see fit, to sign ECCT on as an organization supporting collaborative groups, such as “Desegregate Connecticut”, to work toward a more inclusive Connecticut.

EXPLANATION:
The 234th Convention of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut declared A Season of Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation to last for a minimum of two years commencing February 10, 2019. Our collective experience, coupled with supervening events in American society, has taught us that the work of achieving that goal cannot reasonably be completed in a temporary “season,” but rather is lifetime work. This work is required of us as members of the Body of Christ by our Baptismal Covenant. 

HOW DOES THIS RESOLUTION FURTHER GOD’S MISSION OF RESTORATION AND RECONCILIATION WITH ALL OF CREATION?
By definition, racism means the classification of human beings based solely upon skin color. Because of our nation’s history of chattel slavery in which White settlers on the American continent kidnapped and enslaved Black people from Africa, every institution of our nation is tinged with systemic racism, White supremacy, anti-Black bias, and the social, economic, and political repercussions of this 400-year history. White people too often are not aware of this dynamic because it is such a part of the fabric of our society, and yet we know that this history, and its continuing aftermath, separates us from one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Before we can heal as the Body of Christ, we must first affirmatively acknowledge our own participation in systemic racism and commit to eradicating it from community life in ECCT. This work is central to our participation in the Jesus movement and creating the Beloved Community that Jesus envisioned.

STATEMENT OF REQUIREMENTS TO IMPLEMENT THE RESOLUTION:

  1. To develop a job description for the senior, full-time, staff position to include the coordination of mandated training for clergy, wardens, and lay leaders, as well as monitoring compliance
  2. To adequately fund said position, along with all necessary and appropriate support staffing and program resources, in ECCT’s 2021 budget and to fill the position within the 1st Quarter of 2021
  3. To include $100,000 in ECCT’s 2021 budget to fund participation in an anti-racism training program such as Undoing Racism training offered by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond or similar program for 200 staff, clergy, and lay leaders.
  4. To develop and refine an addendum to the 2020 parochial and non-parochial reports in order to ensure adequate reporting of work done to further this resolution
  5. To appoint the Task Force to study and make recommendations with respect to reparations to be made by ECCT to parishes and individual worshipping communities
  6. That the Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation Ministry Network and the Officer for Racial Justice shall report back to the 237th Convention on steps taken in calendar 2021 to further the purposes of this resolution
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