Resolution #1: Mandates Anti-Racism & Racial Reconciliation Training for the House of Deputies

Status

ADOPTED BY CONVENTION OCTOBER 17th, 2020

Accepted by the Committee on Resolutions August 4th, 2020
Updated by the Secretary of the Convention September 21st, 2020

Resolved, That the 171st Convention of the Diocese of California reaffirms General Convention Resolution 2000 B-049 (Require Anti-Racism Training); and

Resolved,  That this Convention submits the following resolution to the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church:

Resolved, the House of _________ concurring, that Canon I.I 4 be amended as follows:

Canon I.I Section 4: Election of Deputies

(a) All jurisdictions of this Church entitled by the Constitution or Canons to choose Deputies to the General Convention shall be required to do so not later than twelve months preceding the opening date of the General Convention for which they are chosen.  Deputies of jurisdictions failing so to elect may not be seated unless permitted by ruling of the Presiding Officer.

(b) Six months prior to the opening date of the General Convention, the Deputies from each Diocese shall comply with training standards as established in the Rules of Order for the House of Deputies.  

(bc) It shall be the duty of each seated Deputy to communicate to the electing jurisdiction the actions taken and the positions established by the General Convention.

(cd) It shall be the responsibility of each Diocese to provide a forum in which the Deputies to the General Convention from that jurisdiction have opportunity to report.

and be it further Resolved, that the Rules of Order - House of Deputies Section III be amended as follows:

Rules of Order - House of Deputies Section III: Deputations

A. Chair of Deputation

1.        At least one year before the first legislative session of the General Convention, each Deputation will:

i.                     designate a Chair; and

ii.                    notify the Secretary of the House of Deputies of the name of the Chair.

2.        The Deputation Chair will:

i.                     serve as the primary contact for House of Deputies communications;

ii.                    certify the Deputation’s votes by orders;

iii.                   certify changes in the Deputation during General Convention;

iv.                   perform other duties as directed by the President.

 

B. Mandates Training, Compliance, and Reporting

1.        Within three years before the first legislative session of the General Convention, each deputation shall:

i.                     have elected Deputies and 1st Alternate Deputies complete Anti-Racism and Racial Reconciliation coursework utilized for diocesan or provincial training programs;

ii.                    encourage remaining Alternate Deputies to comply; and 

iii.                   file a single submission with all training certificates to the Secretary of the House of Deputies six months prior to the opening date of General Convention.

 

2.        Waivers will apply to:

i.                     Dioceses outside the United States until language proficient training programs are readily available; or 

ii.                    The Committee on Credentials will hear and decide any disputes on certification of Deputations and will report their decision to the House.

 

B. C. Certification of Alternate Deputies as Deputies

1.        Alternate Deputies may not sit or vote with their Deputations, unless and until certified by the Committee on Credentials as a substitute for a Deputy.

2.        The Committee on Credentials will certify Alternate Deputies as Deputies before each session.

3.        The procedures for certification will be those determined by the Secretary of the House of Deputies.

4.        An Alternate Deputy will serve for one or more legislative sessions as Deputy but only until the Deputy for whom he or she substituted is able to resume their seats.

5.        The Committee on Credentials will hear and decide any disputes on certification of Deputies and will report their decision to the House.

Funding

Training, cousework, and certification costs will be incurred by each Diocese.

Explanation

At the 73rd General Convention in Denver 2000, Resolution B-049 required  “lay and ordained leadership of the Episcopal Church, including all ordained persons, professional staff, and those elected or appointed to positions of leadership on committees, commissions, agencies, and boards be required to take anti-racism training and receive certification of such training” and “that each diocese select and authorize appropriate programs that will be used at the diocesan and parochial levels, each province and diocese to determine those lay and clergy leaders who are to take the training.”

The Episcopal Church builds on the framework of Becoming Beloved Community created in response to General Convention Resolution 2015 C-019 - Work for Racial Justice and Reconciliation.  This established response to Systematic Racial Injustice enhances the capacity of The Episcopal Church to work in communities to organize; advocate; and dismantle systems, policies and practices that reinforce violence and acts and perpetuate the sin of racism.

Many of our Dioceses require Anti-Racism training for those serving on Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, Secretary of Convention, Treasurer, and other diocesan bodies.  In the Diocese of California, the General Convention Deputies and Alternates also adhere to this training standard.  Since GC 2012, the General Convention’s Joint Standing Committee on Nominations began tracking the Anti-Racism training requirement for churchwide leadership (Church Pension Fund Trustee, Disciplinary Board for Bishops, Executive Council, General Board of Examining Chaplains, General Theological Seminary Trustee, and the Officers of General Convention). These reports illustrate a trend towards compliance from 76% (GC 2012), 84% (GC 2015), and 85% (GC 2018).  

During General Convention the House of Deputies experiences a 45% turnover of new deputies (GC2015 – 398GC2018 - 364) each triennium.  With no canonical training mandates for both clergy and lay Deputies, establishing canonical standards would be beneficial to new Deputies. First and Second time Deputies comprise 67%, and thus, have significant impact on legislative, budgetary, and election matters.  

The requisite Anti-Racism training is the foundation coursework for all churchwide leaders.  We are affirming that Deputies from each Diocese achieve this minimum standard.  For each subsequent cycle, we are proposing ongoing Racial Reconciliation training programs every three years as new continuing education.  By regularizing the House of Deputies training standards, our hope is new programs like the Anti-Sexism Training will be on the horizon.  
 

For more, see the authors’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Contact

Warren Wong, delegate, St. James, San Francisco - wjwstjames@gmail.com

Submitted by

Warren Wong, delegate, St. James, San Francisco; Executive Council of The Episcopal Church
Laura Curlin, delegate, St. Cyprian’s, San Francisco

Endorsed by

The Diocese of California Deputation to General Convention

The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, co-chair
The Rev. Eric Metoyer
The Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge
The Rev. Debra Low-Skinner
The Rev. Br. Richard Edward Helmer, BSG
The Rev. Hailey McKeefry Delmas
The Rev. Dr. Mauricio Wilson

Sarah Lawton, co-chair
Warren Wong
Christopher Hayes
Karma Quick-Panwala
Laura Curlin
Diane Fitzgibbon
Ronald Hermanson
Michelle Mayfield-Baske

Additional Endorsers

The Rev. Dr. Michael P. Barham – Holy Family, Half Moon Bay & Good Shepherd, Belmont
The Rev. Justin Cannon – All Saints, San Leandro
Mike Chambers – Trinity+St. Peters, San Francisco
The Rev. Dr. Paul Fromberg – St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco
Carolyn Gaines – St. Augustine’s, Oakland
Robin Henke – St. Augustine’s, Oakland
The Rev. Jill Honodel – St. Aidan’s, Bolinas

The Rev. John Kirkley – St. James, San Francisco
The Rev. Pamela Jester – All Saints, San Leandro
Brenda Paulin – St. Augustine’s, Oakland  
The Rev. Dr. Deborah White – Grace, Martinez
The Rev. Chris Rankin Williams – St. John’s, Ross

Comments

Critical race theorists see racial, sexual, and ethnic identities as social constructs that support systems of oppression, a view derived from the Marxist theory of class struggle. Regrettably, these theories have enthralled higher education, the mainstream media, and, most recently, some of the protests relating to George Floyd’s death.  

In the university, Critical theory and its grievance studies accoutrements (for example, critical race theory, feminist theory, and postcolonialism) are presented as the only and the correct way to understand the world (a presumption that is ultimately inconsistent with our biblical worldview), with the implication that the Western canon’s lack of gender and race diversity renders it unworthy of study. In other words, one’s gender and/or skin color make one’s ideas worth or not worth studying. 

Through this singular lens race as a social construct is enforced by those in power, and predetermines someone’s role and opportunity in society, that the purpose of philosophy and literature (and, increasingly, even natural science) is to dismantle the power structure instead of serving as vehicles through which we might come to understand the most profound questions around human existence.

As a result, our culture is alarmingly losing its necessary grounding, while fewer and fewer students are being required to explore the ideas and the history around the truth, justice, or the origins of our rights. Simply put, we now live in a culture in which training in the humanities and social sciences lacks even the vocabulary to talk about racism and prejudice apart from the framework of “systemic racism” and “white privilege.” Any dialogue quickly descends into bouts of circular reasoning and Kafka traps (a)

If you disagree with that philosophical framework, then eo Ipso you oppose fighting racism or deny that racism even exists. And if you push back on the use of terms such as “power structure” or “systemic racism,” you are likewise impugned without a hearing.  This is particularly damaging on two levels. First, it precludes any meaningful conversation about racism and race. Second, it creates a chasm between two well-meaning people who presumably agree racism is evil but disagree on the best way to address it.

 Because of this, though I took exception, I did not voice an objection to one Deanery rep’s reservation to incorporating Thomas Jefferson's quote in the Juneteenth's mere description of the resolution. In fact the inclusion and juxtaposition of Jefferson the slaveholder who was yet our most recognizable source and eloquent expostulator of the Enlightenment ideals of freedom that birthed our nation with the actualization of those ideals in forming a more perfect union in the final proclamation of emancipation of Juneteenth is the very embodiment of reconciliation.

This has always been the American self-understanding and context that the proponents of CRT wish to cynically confound. For it is not Jefferson’s moral failings or dissonance that compels them to attack him but the Enlightenment ideals of classical liberalism which he represents.

The principles of classical liberalism championed by Jefferson are antithetical to what progressives esteem today. Where the former values limited government, individualism, and civic virtue, the latter values expansive government, collectivism, and Social Justice. It is Jefferson’s political philosophy that progressives abhor, and it is because of his philosophy that radicals now seek the complete removal of his image, his writings, and his historical import.

I submit (1) that in incorporating CRT , a theory grounded in Marxist atheistic ideology in the formation of the delegates to the House of Deputies will perniciously undermine unity, will chill dialogue, and that it unnecessarily calls into question the real aims of reconciliation. CRT and its corresponding intersectionality far from reconcile but foster instead a Hobbesian world of all against all. In citing this divisiveness, the present administration has removed all CRT materials in the training formation of all federal employees (b) relevant to the removal of CRT exhibit at the Smithsonian(c)

I submit (2) that the resolution so framed, replete with CRT terminology and “re-education,” is coercive and infringes on our basic understanding of Church and we would be better served to adopt the very Christian understanding of race and reconciliation as the foundation for our convention such as found in Resolution 6, and as exemplified in the very different assertion of the Evangelist Paul:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Peace,

REFERENCES

a) https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=Ev373c7wSRg&feature=emb_...
b) https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/M-20-34.pdf
https://utopiayouarestandinginit.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/screen-shot...
      Additional Source: Anonymous colleague’s letter to the professoriate at Berkeley

read://https_uncoverdc.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Funcoverdc.com%2F2020%2F06%2F12%2Fuc-berkeley-history-professors-open-letter-against-blm-police-brutality-and-cultural-orthodoxy%2F

 

This document does not mention CRT, but it does mention Becoming Beloved Community Resources of the National Episcopal Church; rooted in the gospel.
Many thoughtful theologians (lay and ordained) participated in the drafting of this resolution; highly qualified to inform this context.
https://episcopalchurch.org/beloved-community

Thank you for engaging but surely you are not saying that the abductive reasoning of the duck test is invalid because the resolution is positively swimming in CRT.
No one argues that systemic racism is evil as Bishop Andrus noted the fault line is whether it exists today. However the concept of systemic racism today has become underlined by a form of cultural relativism, a concept defined by perceptions, not proof. It becomes what Voddie Baucham calls ethnic Gnosticism in his description of systemic racism theory.
The biblical category for racism is partiality, as determined objectively not subjectively. So I would stack my theologian against your legions
To quote Derryck Green ."Critical race theorists and antiracists are structuralists. They refer to people collectively, and persistently stress the influence of societal factors to explain the socio-economic failures of blacks and other minorities. This explains the preoccupation with “institutional racism,” “systemic racism,” and “structural racism.” Conversely, people who reject this idea tend to be more individualistic: they tend to emphasize personal responsibility, merit, work ethic, and intelligence– the very things antiracists reject as impediments to oppressed minorities. Racial structuralists believe the American social ‘system’—or our societal institutions, patterns of relationships, and the organizational dynamics of status—provides some people with advantages while others with disadvantages. Blacks also suggest that social determinants lying outside of individual control—such as their race, gender, age or the socioeconomic status of the family in which they were born—significantly influence whether they will thrive. This disposition continues to hold significant currency on black identity and in antiracist identity politics, dictating action– but more so inaction– in black communities."

This legislation passed by a vote of Yes - 232 and No - 2. This will now be forwarded to the 80th General Convention as a "C" resolution.

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