Repairing the Breach: A Symposium on Reparations

Repairing the Breach: A Symposium on Reparations

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.

Save the date: Bishop Mariann and members of the Diocesan Reparations Task Force invite you to attend Repairing the Breach: A Symposium on Reparations on Saturday, October 1 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Calvary Episcopal Church.

We will come together as a diocese to continue our shared work to reckon with our diocesan history of participation in anti-Black racism and learn more about the legacy of benefit we’ve received from that participation. This symposium will lay the groundwork for a resolution publicly acknowledging these harms to be presented and the 2023 Diocesan Convention.

The agenda will include:

  • A call to action from Bishop Mariann
  • A presentation on the diocese’s historical involvement with chattel slavery
  • Lessons from reparations efforts outside the Diocese of Washington
  • Testimonies from diocesan congregations undertaking the difficult work of investigating their own histories with anti-Black racism
  • Insights from Washington area Black community leaders
  • A keynote address from the Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and Canon Theologian at Washington National Cathedral
  • Break-outs groups with role-playing conversations on reparations

Our journey toward repairing the breach 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.

You’ll leave the day motivated and inspired to further engage this liberating and life-giving gospel work in your own congregations.

Repairing the Breach: A Symposium on Reparations will take place at Calvary Episcopal Church (820 6th St NE, Washington, DC 20002) from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 1. Parking is available, and the Church is metro accessible via Union Station. Lunch is included and participation is free.

Register today!

Questions? Contact the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell, chair of the Diocesan Reparations Task Force

Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing – EDOW’s Evening with Dr. Catherine Meeks

Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing – EDOW’s Evening with Dr. Catherine Meeks

“For the Diocese of Washington reparations is the spiritual practice of the beloved community. It involves a process to remember, repair, restore, and reconcile historical and continuing wrongs against humanity that can never be singularly reducible to monetary terms, but must include a substantial investment and surrender of resources. Reparations is principally concerned with the harms done to those most hard pressed by the system of injustice and speaks to the health of all humanity.”
– Working Definition of Reparations by EDOW Reparations Task Force, 2022

Holding this definition, we are honored to invite you to Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing – EDOW’s evening with Dr. Catherine Meeks.

This dynamic presentation & panel discussion will focus on “Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing” in an effort to continue laying the foundation for EDOW’s commitment to remembering, reckoning and reconciling our histories pertaining to racism. With such an amazing keynote speaker found in Dr. Catherine Meeks, Director of The Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing, we knew it would be a gift to put her in conversation with powerful leaders in our community. We are excited to have our local clergy, the Rev. Dr. Gayle Fisher Stewart and the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell join as panelists alongside Mr. Don Edwards, a trusted diocesan and wider church colleague and advisor for the work of racial equity & healing. We are in for a treat!

Registration is requested. Please RSVP here.
*Please note, we will observe appropriate COVID-safety protocols for this event.


About the speakers: 

Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing – EDOW’s Evening with Dr. Catherine Meeks

Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing – EDOW’s Evening with Dr. Catherine Meeks

“For the Diocese of Washington reparations is the spiritual practice of the beloved community. It involves a process to remember, repair, restore, and reconcile historical and continuing wrongs against humanity that can never be singularly reducible to monetary terms, but must include a substantial investment and surrender of resources. Reparations is principally concerned with the harms done to those most hard pressed by the system of injustice and speaks to the health of all humanity.”
– Working Definition of Reparations by EDOW Reparations Task Force, 2022

Holding this definition, we are honored to invite you to join “Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing – EDOW’s evening with Dr. Catherine Meeks” on Saturday, May 21, 2022, 4:30-6:00 p.m. EST at Calvary Episcopal Church in DC.

This dynamic presentation & panel discussion will focus on “Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing” in an effort to continue laying the foundation for EDOW’s commitment to remembering, reckoning and reconciling our histories pertaining to racism. With such an amazing keynote speaker found in Dr. Catherine Meeks, Director of The Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing, we knew it would be a gift to put her in conversation with powerful leaders in our community. We are excited to have our local clergy, the Rev. Dr. Gayle Fisher Stewart and the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell join as panelists alongside Mr. Don Edwards, a trusted diocesan and wider church colleague and advisor for the work of racial equity & healing. We are in for a treat!

Registration is requested. Please RSVP here.
*Please note, we will observe appropriate COVID-safety protocols for this event.


About the speakers: 

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Catherine Meeks, Director of The Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing
Panelist: The Rev. Dr. Gayle Fisher Stewart, President of the DC Chapter of The Union of Black Episcopalians
Panelist: The Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell, Chair of the EDOW Reparations Task Force and Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church
Panelist: Mr. Don Edwards, Founder, CEO and a principal of Justice and Sustainability Associates


The Work Continues – Save the Date!

Building from the Repairing the Breach: Reparations as Healing – EDOW’s evening with Dr. Catherine Meeks event, we’ll have the opportunity to continue with this work in the coming months. We invite you to mark your calendars for The Diocesan Reparations Symposium on Saturday, October 1, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Calvary Episcopal Church.

We’ll hear from historians researching the history of Diocesan participation in chattel slavery, EDOW congregations investigating their own legacies with race and racism, and Black community leaders working on the question of repair in the DMV.

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas will deliver the keynote, laying out the theological and spiritual foundations for reparations work. Participants will leave with concrete next steps to share with our congregations.

Registration for this event will open in late May. For now, please save the date!