Report for the Annual Meeting of 2006, Toronto Conference

COMMITTEE FOR RACIAL JUSTICE

The formation of the Committee for Racial Justice as the fruit of the work of the Anti Racism Task Group (2002-2004) which grew out of a response to two significant events in the year 2000 – the support given at 76 Annual Meeting of Toronto Conference to the World Council of Churches’Ecumenical Decade to Overcome Violence: Churches Seeking Reconciliation and Peace 2001- 2010, and the approval by the 37th General Council, August 2000, policy statement on anti-racism, That All May Be One. At the request of the Church in Society and Ethnic Ministries committees, Conference Executive on November 10, 2004, approved the establishment of a new standing committee, the Committee for Racial Justice, with the following goals and objectives.

 

Programme goals:

To catalyze anti-racism education and action within Toronto Conference.

To critically examine, monitor, and communicate how racism operates and is practiced in Toronto Conference.

 

Programme objectives 2005-2008

To facilitate the implementation of the policy on racial harassment and discrimination in Toronto Conference.

To petition General Council to change the Manual to include a policy and process for addressing racial harassment and discrimination.

To support committees and groups in Toronto Conference in their work toward anti-racist ministry through facilitating access to relevant education materials and opportunities, resourcing policy development and anti-racism action planning; and responding to other needs and requests to further anti-racist ministry.

To facilitate communication forums for the Toronto Conference anti-racism network in their work toward creating an anti-racist church.

To provide at least one further Conference wide transformative education opportunity on anti-racism.

To further develop Toronto Conference’s anti-racism resource library.

To communicate findings and insights about how racism functions and is practiced in Toronto Conference as part of the journey and work towards racial justice.

 

The first meeting of the Committee was held on October 12, 2005. Recruitment for an augmented and racially and culturally diverse membership was completed by January 31, 2006. Since then the Committee has endorsed and promoted throughout the Conference the pilot project “Racial Justice Week” (March 19-26) organized by the Canadian Ecumenical Anti-Racism Network (CEARN), putting on the Conference website several of the anti-racism resources now available in the Conference office. The Committee is at present (spring 2006) focusing on reviewing a possible Policy on Racial Harassment and Discrimination, as well as planning for future educational events and programs while its members continue to share learning and experiences at each meeting.

 

The Committee for Racial Justice is committed to continuing its work so that “All May Be One”as the Christic-centred faith community within this society of rich racial, cultural and religious diversity as we name the violence of racism and engage in a process of healing and reconciliation. It is helping and will help the Conference act as passionate partners and followers of Jesus Christ and move towards building an anti-racist church by actualizing mutual respect and valuing the gifts of difference. We pray that, through the work of Racial Justice, each member of Toronto Conference will be a gift for the holistic body of Christ that heals and reconciles as we stand firm on justice through the guidance of the life-giving Spirit.

 

Respectfully submitted,

John Young-Jung Lee

Chair, Committee for Racial Justice, Toronto Conference, The United Church of Canada

 

 

 

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Updated March 31, 2006