One Fairfax

One Fairfax is a joint social and racial equity policy of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and School Board. It commits the county and schools to intentionally consider equity when making policies or delivering programs and services.

It’s a declaration that all residents deserve an equitable opportunity to succeed—regardless of their race, color, sex, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, disability, income or where they live.

Christ Presbyterian Church
Statement on Racism

The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) consists of two parts: The Book of Confessions and The Book of Order. Within The Book of Confessions is The Confession of 1967, Inclusive Language Text, Art. 9.44a, which states:

“God has created the peoples of the earth to be one universal family. In God’s reconciling love, God overcomes the barriers between God’s children and breaks down every form of discrimination based on racial or ethnic difference, real or imaginary. The church is called to bring all people to receive and uphold one another as persons in all relationships of life: in employment, housing, education, leisure, marriage, family, church, and the exercise of political rights. Therefore, the church labors for the abolition of all racial discrimination and ministers to those injured by it. Congregations, individuals, or groups of Christians who exclude, dominate, or patronize others, however subtly, resist the Spirit of God and bring contempt on the faith which they profess.”

Similarly, the Mission Statement of the Presbytery states that we will “bear public witness to the love, truth, and justice of God in Jesus Christ specifically in the areas of racism and reconciliation.”

We, the community of Christ Presbyterian Church (CPC) of Fairfax, VA, a diverse Christian congregation, condemn the systemic racism and related violence in the United States that has oppressed and taken the lives of so many of our human family. We condemn the persistent inequities in wealth, health, and opportunity between blacks, along with other peoples of color, and whites despite the economic prosperity of recent years. These disparities exist because of a long history of policies that have excluded and exploited Americans of color. Racial inequality has become so normalized in our society that it has become an expectation. This inequality could be considered a part of American culture. And when there are protests against this culture, some even consider it a protest against America. That’s the way it’s been for more than 400 years. It has gone on, unchecked, for far too long. It has to end!

“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” – James Baldwin

We, the CPC community, pledge to the greater community to listen with empathy, to learn with open minds, and to act with purpose. We value and encourage diversity, and are united in our opposition to racism and bigotry wherever they exist. We commit to acting with intent to achieve justice, equality, and inclusivity for all. We further commit to protecting the civil rights of all individuals, without regard to race or ethnicity. We stand in solidarity with those actively working to end racial injustice, systemic or otherwise, with a vision of building a better America and world in general. We cannot and will not be silent.

 

What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?

by Frederick Douglass

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too — great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory…. Read more

Open Yale Course (free)
African American History: From Emancipation to the Present

The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present. Prominent themes include the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction; African Americans’ urbanization experiences; the development of the modern civil rights movement and its aftermath; and the thought and leadership of Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.

Warning: Some of the lectures in this course contain graphic content and/or adult language that some users may find disturbing.

Course Structure
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Spring 2010.

Register here: https://oyc.yale.edu/african-american-studies/afam-162

“Dismantling Racism … A Pastor’s Response”
Video from National Capital Presbytery

“Dismantling Racism…A Pastors Response” is a video that includes a few assembled voices of African American pastors currently serving in congregations in our presbytery. The hope is to use this as a resource tool to help guide conversations and work with our white pastors, and congregations. The video will live on www.thepresbytery.org under the “Dismantling Racism” section and be available on all NCP social media platforms.

View it on Facebook here.

Office of the General Assembly
Stated Clerk remembers recent victims of racial violence

J. Herbert Nelson, II calls for change.
See the video here.

Rick Jones & Randy Hobson | Office of the General Assembly – May 29, 2020

LOUISVILLE — The recent deaths of three African Americans have once again raised concern about racial injustice across the country, including the cities where the deaths occurred. The Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), says there is work to be done.

The recent deaths of three African Americans have once again raised concern about racial injustice across the country, including the cities where the deaths occurred. The Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), says there is work to be done.
https://www.pcusa.org/news/2020/5/29/stated-clerk-remembers-recent-victims-racial-viole/

Presbyterian Mission

It is time for all communities to unite not only in prayer, but also in tangible ways that support, protect, uplift and advocate for those who have been suffering from systemic racism, injustice, oppression and discrimination throughout the entire history of this country. We reject all forms of dehumanization, discrimination and violence against people who are created in the image of God. We affirm the inherent value of all human beings and their right to the breath of life given to us by God.
https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/we-fall-to-our-knees-with-you/?fbclid=IwAR2GHd1NHHgmCDy8LuW6RwSxTSYEH7yMwi4j75D0QITKgIgdVgCJ9JyfwD4

ARE WE IN a “Bonhoeffer moment” today?

It is common to wonder what we would have done if we lived in history’s most challenging times. Christians often find moral guidance in the laboratory of history—which is to say that we learn from historical figures and communities who came through periods of ethical challenge better than others. Christians who wish to discern faithfulness to Christ often look back to learn how others were able to determine faithful discipleship when their contemporaries could not.
https://sojo.net/magazine/february-2018/bonhoeffer-moment?fbclid=IwAR1_xs1rUGwSRHcEMwD0Z6WcZrGs95UxK3XhXMDOfomJrWQon-Xd-Q6woGc

To my colleagues in healthcare, fellow leaders in the military, and those who have just been my friends,

It is Tuesday, 2 June 2020, when most of you read this post.

Nickelodeon went silent for 8 minutes and 46 seconds today. Silence for the same amount of time it took for George Floyd to die. A TV network for children has joined other large institutions and organizations in a stand against the injustice. Against racism.

I thought they only had green slime and cartoons. But they have taken a step to raise awareness and show their support for black Americans.

So what did you do in your sphere of influence?

During morning huddle, did you or somebody else ask how your military treatment facility or clinic was demonstrating support for black soldiers, employees, and patients?

Did your leadership send a message expressing their support and compassion for the pain and hurt and sadness black people are experiencing and have experienced in this country?

Did you check on your battle buddy…or your soldier?

For anybody who identifies as white: did you take a moment today, and feel uncomfortable about the subject of racism? Maybe even too uncomfortable to check in on your black colleagues, students, soldiers, coworkers, friends, or mentees? Where you afraid to mention current events because you did not know how to?

Yesterday was only Monday. So the good news is that you have today.

You have today to show compassion.

You have today to step out of your comfort zone.

You have today to challenge somebody when they say “all lives matter,” and point out that this statement dilutes and diminishes the issue. If you have a patient with breast cancer, do you say “all cancers matter” when they wear pink?

When it is women’s history month, would you speak up if somebody said “when is men’s history month?”

Would you hesitate to do a spot correction if you heard a discussion about sexual assault against a woman, and somebody said the following: “did you see what she was wearing? I mean, she had a shirt tight skirt on and was drinking and flirting. We don’t know all of the facts.” ??

Did you hesitate today when discussions focused on looting and riots? When non-black people watched video footage of two young UNARMED black college students getting tased in their vehicle while driving home, did you say “we don’t know what led up to that.”??

Or did you quietly witness a discussion that tried to justify police action?

Did you witness discussions that focused on the destruction of material items and redirect the discussion back to the issue of systemic racism in the police force and judicial system?

Did you finally take notice yesterday of the absence of diversity in your leadership, your clinic, your residency program, or your classroom for the first time? Did you question why, or how the absence of diversity drives diverse applicants away from your organization?

Black people have to be extra resilient when they are the first and/or only black person on a leadership team or in a workplace. Nobody wants to be the only chip in the cookie.

Did you reach out to your Equal Opportunity representative, or chaplain, and ask for guidance on how to talk about the issue of racism?

Race is a difficult subject for many to discuss openly and honestly. It is particularly difficult if you have lived with the privilege of not having your race be a consideration in your regular daily life.

Racial bias in healthcare is real. The stress of racism is real and has impacts on health. Both mental and physical health.

Racial disparity and racism are healthcare issues. Are public health issues.

Did you consider the impact of the active duty and national guard being called to our American cities on black soldiers?

Did you consider how to address questions about the use of the military?

Did you google search resources to educate yourself on the history of the civil rights movement, racial inequality, resources on how to talk to your children about racism…

…or did you just feel comfortable re-posting an image of a white police officer shaking hands with a black protestor…and end there?

Did you register to vote? Did you email or call you local representative and tell them you want racial bias and sensitivity to be a part of training for law enforcement.

I am putting myself out here as a black woman who will offer some suggestions on what non-black people can do. Suggestions. What you do is on you.

Why?

Because I want you to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable in your personal growth surrounding the issue of race.

I want you to know that change takes time. A seed does not bear fruit overnight. It takes time. But it has to start somewhere. So why not today?

I want you to understand how white privilege impacts your daily life. I know how it impacts mine.

If you are right handed, you don’t notice how the tools of the world are created for right handed people. But left handed people know.

Now consider that same privilege when it comes to the color of your skin.

I am not mad if you let Monday come and go, and you felt unaffected by what is happening in our country. I won’t even know you felt unaffected. But that was Monday.

You now have today, Tuesday 2 June 2020, to do something. In order to be a part of the solution, you need to understand the root of the problem, and what role you might play in that.

I will be off of Facebook on Tuesday. But do not assume I won’t read your comments and posts on Wednesday.

Yes, I know that’s a double negative.

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