“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
This quote captures the essence of equity and justice–that it is our collective work toward liberation. Lucky for us, 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 historically marginalized) to experience full thriving. Equitable practices fundamentally understand and provide the things (material supports, transformed systems/institutions, etc.) historically marginalized people need according to their particular cultures, histories, traditions and needs.
Justice means centering historically marginalized communities to ensure their thriving and healing from generations of injustice. A justice framework can move 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.
The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Washington are committed to promoting respectful care of God’s creation, and particularly to working against climate change and on behalf of climate justice. In addition, the Diocese of Washington provides formation and liturgical resources for those congregations wishing to expand their creation care missions and ministries. Learn More
The Diocesan Hunger Fund provides grants to programs that feed those faced with hunger and malnutrition in the geographical area of the diocese. These grants frequently spell success to programs experiencing shortfalls. 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
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
The mission of the Prison Ministry Task Force is to follow the Great Commission of Christ, to respect the dignity of all persons. We follow Jesus by serving as a resource to educate parishes on the urgent criminal justice issues that impact all of us. Our work includes restoring relationships between and among the individuals in the justice system and the wider community. We will 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 and transform the carceral and justice systems that impact all people in our country. We will support Episcopalians and community partners to find engaging, loving and tangible ways to uplift and impact the lives of returning citizens and break down barriers to successful reentry.
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.
Hazel Monae, Missioner for Equity and Justice