Equity & Inclusion Minute

Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends

Equity and Inclusion Committee

8/16/17

 

Friends,

As a committee of the Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends, empowered to advocate for equity and inclusion, we unequivocally denounce the violence perpetrated by neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and other supporters of White Nationalism, that occurred in Charlottesville over the weekend. Our conviction, as our new yearly meeting takes shape, is to be clear in speaking out and actively opposing racism and bigotry in all forms, lest we join the overwhelming chorus of silence that has plagued our nation.

In Quaker business, Friends may “stand aside” when the sense of the meeting moves toward a decision that feels incongruent with one’s personal interpretation of the Spirit, but not to the extent that the decision would place them out of unity with the community. On rare occasion, Quakers have been led to “stand in the way” when clearly convicted that the meeting is unifying in a way that will damage our work of bringing about the Kingdom of God. In a broader sense, standing aside on matters of oppression is not neutral, but profoundly damaging. To seek God’s Shalom means we must stand in the way of white supremacy, racism, domestic acts of terror, hate crimes, and all manifestations of bigotry.

We encourage Friends across Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting to prayerfully reflect on the following queries: 

  1. Are our meetings places of safety and welcome for people of color?
  2. How are the structures within our monthly meetings, quarterly meetings, and yearly meeting addressing systemic racism?
  3. What are ways your meeting can actively promote racial justice in your local community?  Are there other local organizations or activists already doing the work with whom your meeting could partner with and support? 
  4. Am I living a life that testifies to the evil of white supremacy? Am I willing to learn from past mistakes, omissions, and ways I’ve noticed racism within myself?

In love and light,

 

The Equity and Inclusion Committee