It is widely accepted that racism is, by definition, institutional. “Institutions have greater power to reward and penalize. They reward by providing career opportunities for some people and foreclosing them for others. They reward as well by the way social goods are distributed – by deciding who receives training and skills, medical care, formal education, political influence, moral support and self-respect, productive employment, fair treatment by the law, decent housing, self-confidence and the promise of a secure future for self and children.” (from UCC Sacred Conversation on Race).
Our church, from the national setting of the United Church to our Central Pacific Conference to our local congregation, is an institution, with the power to provide opportunities in the form of relationship and belonging, spiritual formation and education, public voice and leadership, financial and emotional support, and more…for some people.
Some questions to consider:
- How are opportunities to serve distributed in your church?
- Who serves in leadership? How are decisions made?
- How does your church reflect the needs and concerns of the wider community where your church is located?
We will discuss this more during an upcoming training on unpacking bias and dismantling racism, and you are welcome to leave thoughts and comments below.