Addressing Institutional Racism (Minute approved on October 9, 2016)

Olympia Monthly Meeting acknowledges and embraces the need to address systemic/institutional racism both within our OMM community and the wider community.  To take action on this concern, we agree that we will do the following:

  1. Members and attenders of the Olympia Monthly Meeting will make time in our lives to make a real contribution to an ongoing effort to reverse systemic racism and to promote personal transformation concerning our own racism.
  2. As a first step, we will form a subcommittee on racism under the care of our Peace and Social Justice Committee to help structure and organize the work. We encourage broad participation in the subcommittee among all members and attenders. We ask this subcommittee to help us hold ourselves accountable to contributing to those changes that we believe our Testimony and Discipline require of us. This work will be reviewed after one year to determine any required next steps or changes in structure.
  3. When planning and pacing this work, we ask the subcommittee to consider the following:

i. How can we increase our experience of the “light of truth” by working with African-Americans, Native Americans, and other people of color to develop an increased individual and corporate understanding of systemic racism?

ii. How do we identify traditions and behaviors that could make our society and monthly meetings less inviting to people who have been harmed by systemic racism? How do we increase our awareness and sensitivity to better welcome these individuals and their families or descendants when they are led to join us?

iii. What ways exist to celebrate our neighbors by meeting with them where they live, work, worship, and play? Consideration of African-American activist and scholar Ron Daniels’ statement that the “goal … is not so much integration and organization, at least from the vantage of most African Americans. It is a question of equity and parity,” and his discussion of “coerced internalization of the dominating, or white culture” also encourages us to look for ways to meet with neighbors where they are most at home.

iv. What are other Friends organizations doing to contribute to all the above work? What opportunities exist for us to contribute to these efforts?

The Minute was Accepted.
10/09/2016
Olympia, WA