Racial Justice Commission

The work of seeking racial justice is founded on our Baptismal Covenant, that “we will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor” as ourselves and to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.”  (Book of Common Prayer, p. 305)

As together we in this diocese strive to become a more antiracist body, the Racial Justice Commission exists to provide tools, experiences, leadership, accompaniment and, sometimes, challenge to diocesan leaders, congregations and other Episcopal communities--so that together, our diocese can better live out Jesus' prayer to embody God's dream of "on earth as it is in heaven."

The 12-member commission in its current configuration was launched in November 2020 at Diocesan Convention. The commission is organized into five subcommittees, each with two co-chairs and a mandate to support the broader mission.


Read the Racial Justice Commission's report
in the 2023 Diocesan Convention Handbook (page H-18) here.


Racial Justice Commission leaders Courtesy photo 2023 Racial Justice Commission leadership: (front, from left) Holly Maze Carter, Constance Perry, Bishop Carol Gallagher, Eva Ortez, Jean Baptiste Ntagengwa; (back, from left) Claudette Hunt, Deborah Gardner Walker, H. Mark Smith, Chitral de Mel, Will Mebane, Bishop Alan Gates, Chris Wendell, Derrick Muwina, Morgan Allen, Kris Wile.

The leadership of our diocesan Racial Justice Commission includes:

  • Bishop Alan M. Gates
  • Bishop Carol J. Gallagher
  • 2023 Co-Chairs:
    The Rev. W. (Will) H. Mebane Jr., St. Barnabas's Church, Falmouth and
    The Rev. Carol Morehead, Grace Church, Medford
  • Staff liaison: Jean Baptiste Ntagengwa (jbntagengwa@diomass.org or 617-482-4826, ext. 400)

Tools and resources

Subcommittees and mandates

Structures and Systems

2023 Co-Chairs: 
The Rev. Derrick Muwina (St. Peter's Church, Cambridge)
The Rev. Debbie Phillips (Grace Church, Salem)

Responsibility:  Work with diocesan staff, clergy and lay leadership to create accountable and transparent structures in our diocese and Episcopal communities. This includes (but is not limited to) hiring practices, committee make-up, search-committee processes and business practices.

Finances

2023 Co-Chairs: 
The Rev. Morgan Allen (Trinity Church, Boston)
The Rev. Paul Minor (All Saints' Church, Belmont)

Responsibility:  Ensure financial resources are located in ways that promote antiracism--on the diocesan and congregational level. This includes, but is not limited to, how resources are allocated in the diocese, how compensation is set and justly compensating BIPOC for often unpaid volunteer labor.

Supporting BIPOC Individuals and Communities

2023 Co-Chairs: 
The Rev. Jennifer Beal (St. Anne's Church, North Billerica)
Juan Matos (Grace Church, Lawrence)

Responsibility:  Help create the culture and structures in our diocese to build a beloved community where all are transformed; and where:
- BIPOC individuals and communities, especially the historically Black churches, feel welcomed, supported, sustained, embraced, respected and empowered; and especially in the leadership of our diocese;
- their voices are listened to and lifted up; 
- their talents, skills and experiences are valued; 
- our ordination, nominating and other processes to raise up lay and ordained leaders elevate and celebrate BIPOC;
- BIPOCs and people who are white work alongside each other as equals. 

Reparations

Visit www.diomass.org/reparations-fund to learn more about our newly developing Reparations Fund.

2023 Co-Chairs:
The Rev. Chris Wendell (St. Paul's Church, Bedford)

Louise Gant (Church of the Holy Spirit, Mattapan)

Responsibility:  In the name of repentance for the harm done by the enslavement of individuals and systemic racism, provide resources, experiences and leadership for the diocese, its congregations and its Episcopal communities as we take action to 1) change how we tell our own histories and present-day story, and 2) make financial reparations.

Forming Antiracist Episcopal Communities

2023 Co-Chairs: 
Deborah Gardner Walker (St. Peter's Church, Beverly)
The Rev. Ema Rosero-Nordalm (Trinity Church, Haverhill and Allston Abbey)

Responsibility: Foster active antiracist Episcopal communities by having theologically grounded antiracist formation offerings; rethinking liturgy through an antiracism lens; and also activating our congregations to act for racial justice in the world.