The mission of the Anti-Racism Commission, structures, policies and practices is to
systematically perpetuate the anti-racist identity we claim in Baptism. The Diocese’s Anti-Racist way of living together through values of Justice and Equality is seen by all as a model for change and a sign of hope. This vision is expressed and realized through knowledge and understanding of institutional racism and intentional interaction across the Diocese as the Beloved Community.
In How to be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi writes, “Racist ideas have defined our society since its beginning and can feel so natural and obvious as to be banal, but antiracist ideas remain difficult to comprehend, in part because they go against the flow of this country’s history. As Audre Lorde said in 1980. “We have all been programmed to respond to the human difference in one of three ways: ignore it, and if that is not possible, copy it if we think it is dominant, or destroy it if we think it is subordinate. But we have no patterns for relating across our human differences as equals.” To be an anti-racist is a radical choice in the face of this history, requiring a radical re-orientation of our consciousness.”
The Anti-Racism Commission provides a Racial Justice Anti-Racism Training which is presented as a 20-hour online program to reach participants on their home computers three times per year. It collaborates and interfaces with the diocesan Martin Luther King Day of Service, Youth Conveners, Union of Black Episcopalians, Reparations Taskforce, New Jersey Together, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Asbury Park Social Justice Ministry, Anti-Racist Alliance of New Jersey, and Faith Based Anti-Racist Coalition of New York City Metro Area.
In the coming months, we hope to propose canons at our 2022 Diocesan convention to formalize the commission’s status and to broaden the scope of the training programs. In
addition, we will continue to make ourselves available within and without the Diocese for dialogue about this most pressing need, that of addressing all forms of racism and injustice, and to coordinate with other ongoing initiatives.