Minute on Racism adopted at November 19, 2017 Meeting for Worship for Business
Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting forwarded a Statement on Racism to all member monthly meetings asking for comments and discernment on a draft minute of concern that arose during the Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting (PQM), July 29, 2017 Meeting for Worship for Business held at Annual Sessions.
CHFM considered this draft minute of concern at its September 17, 2017 Meeting for Worship for Business. During that Meeting there was not unity around endorsing the draft minute as presented. The Meeting asked Carla White, Jon Landau and Jeff Perkins to develop a statement on racism that speaks to the current condition of CHFM.
The PQM proposed minute was developed with the participation of Friends of color. As a predominately white community CHFM is very aware that nearly all of the anti‐ racism work to be done must be done by white people in our meeting. We have and will continue to ask for grounding and eldering from our members and attenders of color who are willing to hold us accountable.
We believe that it is important at this time to make a statement of our current condition. We realize – and indeed hope – that our condition may change over time. However, we are also aware that when we fail to articulate our beliefs, we are less likely to hold them as closely and be as accountable to realizing them in practice.
We are human and this statement is imperfect. We encourage others to read beneath the words to the Spirit that we know is beginning to move more broadly among us in becoming more aware of the issues of white privilege and systemic racism.
Minute on Racism from Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting
We, the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting community, acknowledge that racism is active among us both institutionally and individually and has negatively impacted visitors to our meeting as well as members and attenders. While we are deeply sorry for hurt we have caused we also have hope in our ongoing journey toward beloved community and in our innate capacity to respond to that of God in each other.
We believe that Spirit brings Light to where we have fallen short and where we need healing. We commit to the ongoing internal spiritual work and external work that can lead to healing and permanent change within our community as well as society as a whole.
Racism persists within the Religious Society of Friends as it does generally in American social, governmental and educational institutions. Throughout our history Quakers have both worked to combat racism and contributed to perpetuating it. Members of our own community have long pursued projects aimed at mitigating the effects of racism in many ways. Nonetheless, privilege within our community often shields many of us from most impacts of systemic racism and blinds us to the ways that we contribute to its continuation.
We are learning that we cannot escape from participating in systemic racism without educating ourselves and making conscious on‐going efforts to change ourselves and our organizations. We are called to do better and we want to do better.
We will begin a robust meeting‐wide educational effort on white privilege, implicit bias and institutional racism (its historical roots, evolution and current pervasive forms).
We will encourage our committees to explore how a deeper understanding of racism can enrich and support our work together as a community.
We will strengthen and clarify our work against the ways racism affects so many aspects of our society. We will recognize and support those who lead in this work.