The parish of Trinity Church acknowledges that Anti-Black racism exists in our society and in our Church, and that it and all forms of racism against Black, Indigenous and other racialized people are a sin against God and against our neighbour. We commit ourselves to the recognition, dismantling, and elimination of Anti-Black and other forms of racism in our secular institutions, in our Church, and in ourselves, and to work for the full inclusion, participation and belongingness of Black, Indigenous and other racialized people in all sectors of our common life.
In light of this acknowledgment, and in keeping with this commitment, our parish undertakes to do the following:
Invite one or more speakers from a racialized community to speak on anti-racism.
Hold a follow-up discussion to learn how we can recognize and help confront racism in our community.
On September 26, Trinity Anglican Church hosted Jacqui Getfield as our first Anti-Racism speaker and discussion. Thank you to all who participated, whether as part of worship and listening to the speaker, or by joining the conversation afterwards. It was an insightful and challenging talk and conversation. Jacqui asked a number of questions and made some scripture references throughout her talk, as part of the invitation to us for reflection and action. As I suspect that most of you, like me, did not have a chance to write these down, so I wanted share with you her definitions, the questions and scripture references that went along with them, and the next step that we talked about at the end of the follow-up conversation. I have tried to write them the way Jacqui posed them to us, but where appropriate I have synthesized them. I encourage you to re-watch the video as well, Jacqui’s talk begins about the 18-minute mark of the video (Video Link)
Race: Not skin colour, but the social construct around the word “race” that denotes a group of people, who have been identified by society and historically mistreated, disregarded and discriminated against.
Racialized: Those placed at the margins of society, typically non-white, recent immigrants, black descendants of those from Africa or Caribbean.
Racism: The treatment of people prejudicially based on their appearance, and treatment that results in discriminatory disadvantage.
Questions and Scripture References:
- What does it mean to be an ally? Is being an ally the same as being a friend? An accomplice, congregant in arms, activist or co-conspirator? What other terms would you use to describe being an ally [in anti-racism]?
- Are you sure you want to be an ally with the context of anti-racism?
- How deep do you wish to go? Meaning do want to dapple in it, dipping your big toe, your foot, up to your knee, the whole leg, up to your neck or do you want to fully submerge?
- Invitation to consider the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) using these three questions
- Would you describe the Good Samaritan as an ally; a friend, accomplice, co-conspirator or activist?
- How would you describe the Good Samaritan within the geo-political context of his time?
- When the Good Samaritan saw the injured man, how do you suppose he summed up the situation? Why did he decide to help? How did he help?
- Why now, why do you want to engage in anti-racism work now?
- Is it riding the wave of global indignation after the death of George Floyd?
- A Commitment to do something, but you don’t know or are not sure what do to do?
- Why were you triggered after the death of George Floyd and the international uproar when there have been many before him?
- Am I a racist or an ant-racist? (Jacqui would suggest that you cannot be both just as you are either pregnant or not)
- How will you teach your children/grandchildren about those with your skin colour and those with different skin colour? What will be your legacy to them?
- What will you invest in this work of anti-racism? Money, time – letter writing, protests, marches, policy development, talking to friends and family, mobilizing others? Are you willing to take up that cross and the cost involved? Jacqui referred a number of times when Jesus talked about the cost and particularly division that will come in following him – Matthew 10:16 forward, particularly 10:34-39; Mark 8, particularly 8:34-38; John 15:18-16:4
- How will you do this work? Out and about in public, talking about? Or are you a closet anti-racist?
- What are the stereotypes and biases you seem to hold onto?
- As a parish, how will you do this work? Reflecting on your history, what groups have triumphed and which have suffered? How will you engage a diverse group, inviting diverse voices into leadership and to inform anti-racism work?
You can learn more about Black Anglicans of Canada here.
We encourage you to access these resources on your own continuous journey to unlearning racism and becoming anti-racist:
More information can also be found at https://www.toronto.anglican.ca/parish-life/diversity-resources/ .