West Richmond Friends Meeting is committed to being and becoming an anti-racist organization. In March 2021 we adopted the following statement:
Minute on Systemic Racism
West Richmond Friends Meeting seeks peace and justice for all people. In 2008 our meeting adopted the following statement of welcome: “We affirm and welcome all persons whatever their race, religious affiliation, age, socio-economic status, nationality, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation or mental/physical ability. We offer all individuals and families, with or without children, our spiritual and practical support.”
Now, at the beginning of 2021, our predominantly white congregation feels called to make a more specific stand against the sin of racism, to state publicly our intention to become and to be anti-racist in thought, word, and deed.
White people hold hidden and not so hidden biases against people of color. Whether or not consciously intended, white Christians, Quakers, and our own meeting have been and continue to be the beneficiaries of white supremacist culture. Our meeting owns property on land that was violently purged of its Indigenous inhabitants to make room for white people. We intend to learn more about who these people were and what happened to them. We take pride in our abolitionist predecessors, but we are ashamed that some Indiana Quakers joined the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920’s. We intend to learn more about our complicated history. A fuller understanding of our past will inform our work for a more just future.
In the past year we have seen the epitome of white supremacist culture in the different response of law enforcement to peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors demonstrating for equal rights and violent white insurrectionists attempting the overthrow of constitutional government in the United States.
We intend, as a meeting, to move forward in the struggle against systemic racism in our society, while also striving to recognize and counteract implicit racist bias in ourselves. We acknowledge the centuries of violence and harm that people of color have endured and continue to endure in the United States, often at the hands of those who profess to be followers of Christ. We are committed to being and becoming an anti-racist organization, in both word and action. We believe that white supremacy is a sin and that God calls us to work for justice here and now.