Link of the Month:
The Diocese of Mississippi and its Racial Reconciliation Task Force responded to a request by the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute that Evers be memorialized by the bell tolling across Mississippi. Churches were asked to toll the bell 55 times, one toll for each year that has passed since Evers was shot and killed getting out of his car at his Jackson, Mississippi, home.
The Anti-Racism Ministry in the Diocese of New Jersey comprises the Anti-Racism Commission, the Anti-Racism Team and various anti-racism committees and teams developing within parishes.
You may have heard about the Commission and the Team, but may have questions about what those groups are, what they do, and what is the difference between the Commission and the Team. In a nutshell, the Commission is a supervisory body that creates vision, determines goals, and oversees the activities of the Team. This includes stewardship of funds and support for Team activities, such as anti-racism training, parish workshops, convocation presentations, diocesan conferences, and youth events.
The Anti-Racism Commission
- was created as the “Racism Committee” by 1996 diocesan convention resolution, subsequently commissioned and renamed, has functioned continuously since 1996, and has received diocesan funding since 2000
- is a Bishop-authorized body of 12 persons with special knowledge, experience, and skills pertaining to organizing against racism
- consists of 6 persons appointed by the Black Clergy Caucus, 2 appointments by the Hispanic Commission, and 4 by the Bishop (The Black Clergy Caucus, Hispanic Commission, and Bishop may appoint persons of any race.)
- collaborates with contractors to provide 2.5-day anti-racism training retreats for the diocese, organizes full day biennial conferences, oversees activities of the Anti-Racism Team, manages diocesan anti-racism budget for these items
- meets monthly, reports monthly to Diocesan Council, and reports annually to diocesan convention
- All Commission members are also active members of the Team and attend and support almost every 2.5-day anti-racism training session.
The Anti-Racism Team
- consists of all persons who have completed at least one 2.5-day anti-racism training session
- lists more than 200 people as members who choose to remain involved in organizing against racism and Team tasks
- develops trained facilitators to present introductory anti-racism workshops to parishes
- organizes quarterly meetings and diocesan forums on current racial justice issues
We offer congregations a variety of formats that range from a 90-minute orientation to a full-day workshop, which can be customized to meet a congregation’s needs. These trainings are designed to help members live into the baptismal covenant of respecting the dignity of every individual.
Resources and Bibliography
We welcome you to further engage in meaningful resources which may continue our joint efforts in combating the sin of racism.
Please watch this video by The Rev. David Billings, one of the leaders of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. This video speaks to the essential nature of the work of the Commission and Team.
We invite you to explore the following links with further information:
Click here for a bibliography of suggested resources from The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, containing many works that inform and expand upon the contents of our two-and-a-half day workshops.
Click here for a list of on-hand resources available from the Diocese of New Jersey and the Anti-Racism Commission. If you are interested in borrowing any of these items, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.