Once again, we are pleased to offer an FGC Institutional Assessment on Racism update, as requested by petition at the 2016 Gathering. In 2017 FGC retained Crossroads, a nonprofit organization that works with faith communities to facilitate working toward anti-racist transformation. Crossroads has contracted with us to train and work with FGC over the next year to conduct our Institutional Assessment.
During the third weekend of November (17th - 19th, 2017), 43 FGC staff members, committee clerks, some yearly meeting representatives and members of the Institutional Assessment Task Force convened at Stony Point Retreat Center in Stony Point, NY to attend our first Crossroads training. The training was the result of six months of spirit-led work by the Institutional Assessment Working Group, which assembled the twelve-member Task Force that will carry this work forward and bring recommendations for change to FGC’s Central Committee. The FGC Committee for Nurturing Ministries’ Ministry on Racism holds our work under their care. At the workshop the Crossroads team guided us in activities to lay a foundation for our future work. We shared our experiences of the historical roots of white supremacy within the Religious Society of Friends and our society at large, the insidious nature of racism embedded in these cultures, and the impact that racism has on governmental systems, people and communities in the United States and Canada.
Having this common language and understanding facilitates the institutional assessment design and execution work of the twelve-member Task Force who met on the Monday following the workshop (November 20th). The Task Force formed three subgroups to gather data for the assessment:
- The Continuum Team will overlay a tool from Crossroads with our organizational structure, policies (e.g., Blue Book), decision-making processes, and culture to look into inequities. “What are the sacred cows of Quaker culture?”
- The Power Analysis Team will examine FGC against a “matrix of domination,” the degree to which individuals, institutions and our Quaker culture uphold white supremacy and marginalize our subcultures. “How does Quaker practice, programs, etc. benefit white society and oppress people of color?”
- The Survey Team will conduct winter focus groups to design a survey to be administered across FGC constituencies during the spring, and will review themes arising from the survey with focus groups during the summer.
|The Continuum Team|
|Marvin Barnes||LEYM, IAWG|
|Justin Connor||BYM, IAWG|
|Power Analysis Team (aka Matrix Team)|
|Vanessa Julye||PHLYM, IAWG|
|Marijke van Roojen||NYM|
|Task Force Survey Team|
|Sharon Lane-Getaz||NYM, IAWG|
|Carolyn Lejuste||LEYM, IAWG|
The data gathered across the Task Force teams will be analyzed with Crossroads to produce recommendations for FGC to move toward anti-racist transformation. The Institutional Assessment Working Group will continue to report further to Friends as we move forward on the institutional assessment. Look for updates and focus groups at the 2018 Gathering! To contact us please email us: [email protected].
Sharon Lane-Getaz and Justin Connor
Co-clerks of the Institutional Assessment Working Group and the Task Force