“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” ~ Lilla Watson
The quote above captures the essence of equity and justice–that it is our collective work toward liberation. As followers of Jesus, we also have the call given to us by God and our faith–to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).
Equity is a creative process, wherein we are intentionally, consistently and systematically creating the conditions for all people–particularly those who are structurally and historically marginalized–to experience holistic liberation. Equitable practices fundamentally understand and provide the material supports, transformed systems/institutions, community justice, and more that historically marginalized people need according to their particular cultures, histories, traditions and needs.
To borrow from the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, justice means grounding ourselves in moral imagination to create a world liberated from the harms of oppression and situated in beloved community. This includes centering the lived experiences of historically marginalized communities to cultivate healing, disrupt structures that impose premature death, and concretely repair the harms from generations of injustice. A justice framework can orient us from a reactive posture to a more powerful, proactive and even preventive approach.
So, as Lilla Watson and God have called us, let us journey together toward a church and a community where all people are thriving.
“A moral imagination is grounded in the absolute belief that the world can be better. A moral imagination envisions Isaiah’s ‘new heaven and new earth,’ where the ‘wolf and the lamb shall feed together,’ and trusts that it will be made real (Isaiah 65).” – the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Canon Theologian, Washington National Cathedral
Rudy Logan | email
Missioner for Equity and Justice
The Episcopal Diocese of Washington is committed to bravely uncovering, understanding, reckoning with and acting to dismantle racism within ourselves, our faith communities, the diocese and our localities. This work includes reckoning with our diocesan history of participation in anti-Black racism and learning more about the legacy of benefit the diocese has received from that participation. Our journey toward reparations will not be without its challenges. Yet our commitment to justice and equity requires that we walk this road of self-discovery, understanding, confession, repentance, and, ultimately restitution for our institutional involvement with white supremacy. Learn more
The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Washington are committed to nurturing God’s creation in the spirit of dignity and justice, striving for the well-being of the land, its people and all of creation in light of varied ecological crises. The Diocese of Washington carries out this commitment by providing formation, liturgical, and practical resources to congregations. The Creation Care Committee and Missioner for Equity and Justice Rudy Logan help connect and equip those interested in deepening their Creation Care efforts. Learn More
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde is a member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, a group of more than 65 Episcopal bishops working to curtail the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. “We believe in a God of life in the face of death who calls our church to speak and act decisively against the unholy trinity of poverty, racism and violence,” the bishops say in their mission statement. Learn More
IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES, AND SANCTUARY
As a sanctuary diocese, following the way of Jesus, the Episcopal Diocese of Washington takes seriously the Biblical mandate to “honor the immigrant in our midst as one of our own. (Lev. 19:34) Moreover, the Diocese of Washington serves as a place of welcome, solidarity, and healing, in order to provide various forms of material and pastoral support to immigrants and refugees. Learn More
While a number of congregations in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington have long and rich histories as communities of healing, affirmation and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ persons, the work of welcoming and affirming individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities is a lifelong process as we learn more about ourselves and our communities. As people of the resurrected Christ, we are committed to ongoing self-examination, learning, and amendment of life in our pursuit of becoming a diocese of inclusion and belonging.
Here are a few resources to guide our work together:
- Washington National Cathedral LGBTQIA+ alliance
- Best practices for LGBTQIA Cultural Competency Training (developed for health institutions)
- www.sageusa.org (cultural competency training for LGBTQIA eldercare)
- Center for LGBTQ + Gender Studies at Pacific School of Religion
- An Ally’s Guide to Terminology: Talking About LBGTQ People and Equality
- LGBTQ and Faith Study Resources
PRISON MINISTRY AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADVOCACY
The work of prison ministry follows the Great Commission of Christ, to respect the dignity of all persons. The Episcopal Diocese of Washington follows Jesus by serving as a resource to educate parishes on the pressing criminal justice issues that impact all of us. Our work includes restoring relationships with people caught in the snares of the criminal legal system and living in the wider community. We pursue strategies to motivate increased participation in preventive and reentry programs that affect the presently and formerly incarcerated and their families. We seek to engage the carceral system through the lens of transformative, healing and restorative justice–disrupting isolation, violence and advancing God’s just future . We support Episcopalians and community partners to find engaging, loving and tangible ways to uplift and impact the lives of returning citizens–breaking down barriers to successful reentry, and addressing the effects of carceral violence.
TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT RACISM
The diocese is committed to working and advocating for racial equity as we celebrate the great cultural diversity of our communities. Through our programs and relationships, we are telling the truth about racism’s connection to incarceration, gun violence, immigration, hunger and many other social issues. We are committed to being a diocese that welcomes all people and advocates for the dignity of every human being.
We are in the circling process of social change that is sweeping across the globe. As followers of Jesus and his Way of Love, we are called to be a part of that change and keep our eyes and energies fixed on addressing the root causes of systematic racism and white supremacy in all its forms.
As a diocese, we are committed. We will bravely uncover, understand, reckon with and act to dismantle racism within ourselves, our faith communities, the Diocese and our localities.
If you would like to know more about race and social justice initiatives, please contact the Race and Social Justice Committee co-chairs, Dr. Enid LaGesse and the Rev. David Wacaster. Keep an eye on the events calendar and the news section for opportunities to receive training, participate in workshops, attend speeches and forums and lend your energies to advocacy efforts.
Rudy Logan, Missioner for Equity and Justice