A CHARTER FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
Updated by the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church in 1978. Adopted by the 1980 General Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Because we believe
1. God is the creator of all people and all are God’s children in one family;
2. racism is a rejection of the teachings of Jesus Christ;
3. racism denies the redemption and reconciliation of Jesus Christ;
4. racism robs all human beings of their wholeness and is used as a justification for social, economic and political exploitation;
5. we must declare before God and before one another that we have sinned against our sisters and brothers of other races in thought, in word and in deed;
6. in our common humanity in creation all women and men are made in God’s image and all persons are equally valuable in the sight of God;
7. our strength lies in our racial and cultural diversity and that we must work toward a world in which each person’s value is respected and nurtured; and
8. our struggle for justice must be based on new attitudes, new understandings and new relationships and must be reflected in the laws, policies, structures and practices of both church and state;
we commit ourselves as individuals and as a community to follow Jesus Christ in word and in deed and to struggle for the rights and the self-determination of every person and group of persons. Therefore, as United Methodist Women in every place across the land …
UNITE OUR EFFORTS with all groups in The United Methodist Church to:
1. Eliminate all forms of institutional racism in the total ministry of the church with special attention given to those institutions that we support, beginning with their employment policies, purchasing practices and availability of services and facilities.
2. Create opportunities in local churches to deal honestly with the existing racist attitudes and social
distance between members, deepening the Christian commitment to be the church where all racial groups and economic classes come together.
3. Increase our efforts to recruit women of all races into the membership of United Methodist Women and provide leadership development opportunities without discrimination.
4. Create workshops and seminars in local churches to study, understand and appreciate the historical and cultural contributions of each race to the church and community.
5. Increase local churches’ awareness of the continuing needs for equal education, housing, employment and medical care for all members of the community and create opportunities to work for these things across racial lines.
6. Work for the development and implementation of national and international policies to protect the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all people such as through support for the ratification of United Nations covenants on human rights.
7.Support and participate in the worldwide struggle for liberation in the church and community.
Living the Charter
Racial justice is a biblical issue. Read Exodus 1:8-14. How were the Egyptians and the Israelites each “raced”? Who are the “Egyptians” and who are the “Israelites” in the United States today?
Racial justice is a leadership issue. Who are the leads in United Methodist Women? When and how are leadersip and power shared across lines of race, ethnicity, language and class? Make institutional changes that build relationships of mutuality rather than charity.
Racial justice is a community issue. Assess changes in your community, state and nation. Where are racial/ethnic tensions arising? Make standing up for racial justice a regular part of your spiritual practice.
Racial justice is a public policy issue. Learn about laws that limit the rights of immigrants, racial/ethnic minorities and the poor to public education, social services and jobs. Join with others to exercise your political power to ensure equal and basic rights for all..