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 2022 Diocesan Convention Handbook (page H-16) here.
The leadership of our diocesan Racial Justice Commission includes:
- Bishop Alan M. Gates
- Bishop Carol J. Gallagher
- 2023 Co-Chairs: H. Mark Smith, Deacon, and W. (Will) H. Mebane Jr., St. Barnabas's Church, Falmouth
- Staff liaison: Jean Baptiste Ntagengwa (email@example.com or 617-482-4826, ext. 400)
Tools and resources
- Reparations Toolkit
- “What is Truth?” study series
- Liturgical Resources for Indigenous Peoples' Day and Other Occasions
- Recommendations and Resources on Land Acknowledgements
- Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Debrief: Audio recording of presentation of composite results from IDI’s taken by diocesan leadership in late 2022. Contact Kris Wile at firstname.lastname@example.org for access details.
- Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Assessment: Introductions to the REDI tool and presentation of results from the 173 REDI surveys submitted from across the diocese in winter 2022-spring 2023:
REDI Introduction #1
REDI Introduction #2
Diocese of Massachusetts REDI Results
- Race, Church and Healing: A series of six workshops by Bryana Clover, Owner, Bryana Clover LLC, and Claire Cox-Woodlief, Owner, CCW Transformation Ministries. These recordings of sessions held for the diocese in spring 2023 are available for individual, small group and congregational use through July 2024.
Contact Kris Wile at email@example.com for access details.
Subcommittees and mandates
Structures and Systems
Kris Wile (St. Elizabeth's Church, Sudbury)
Derrick Muwina (St. Peter's Church, Cambridge)
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.
Holly Maze Carter (Parish of St. John the Evangelist, Hingham)
Morgan Allen (Trinity Church, Boston)
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
Claudette Hunt (St. Andrew's Church, Ayer)
Eva Ortez, MANNA Community, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston
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.
Constance Perry (Trinity Church, Boston)
Chris Wendell (St. Paul's Church, Bedford)
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
Chitral de Mel (Church of the Good Shepherd, Dedham)
Deborah Gardner Walker (St. Peter's Church, Beverly)
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.
November 2022: Racial Justice Commission launches REDI Assesment
December 2021: Responses to Questions and Comments at Diocesan Convention
November 2021: Presentation to Diocesan Convention