At our Meeting for Business on Sunday, October 13, Herndon Friends agreed to adopt the practice suggested by the BYM Growing Diverse Leadership Committee, to test decisions we make using the following queries:
How could this decision affect those who have been harmed by racist behavior?
To what degree have privilege, class, stereotypes, assumptions, and our ability to include other perspectives affected this decision? Will this decision promote equity, diversity, and inclusiveness? Will it enable us to be more friendly and whole?
How will we provide opportunities for those most likely to be directly affected by our decision to influence that decision?
How does this decision support the declaration of our Yearly Meeting that we are an anti-racist faith community?
Using queries to examine how our decisions may promote inclusiveness, allow equal access, and welcome those we perceive as different from ourselves could, we believe, guide us in our deliberations. It will also make us more accountable for our actions and less likely to be satisfied with a statement that sounds laudatory, but proves empty or even harmful.
The full text of the Declaration by Baltimore Yearly Meeting as an Anti-Racist Faith Community as presented at the 2019 BYM Annual Session is as follows:
In struggling with how to ensure that our Yearly Meeting is an anti-racist faith community, we have come to some convictions.
We Aspire To Recognize And Affirm Diversity As A Means To Truth.
We Friends are of many skin colors, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, stages of life, and socially constructed racial identities. We are all seeking the Spirit’s presence in our lives, and in our life together. We recognize that some of us have experienced oppression and marginalization in ways that others have not. We aspire to live as members of the blessed community, which is one of liberation, equity, and great diversity across all differences.
We Approach Racism as a Virus to Be Healed.
Simply “addressing” racism is too weak. Believing that we can simply end racism is too optimistic. Our response to racism must be to challenge it, to confront it, to correct it, and to heal this societal infection.
We Are Committed to Becoming More Inclusive and Welcoming to All We are committed to discerning how our Meetings at all levels can be more inclusive and welcoming to all, can encourage participation and leadership among all Friends, and can build an anti-racist, multicultural community.
We Strive To Do More To Build And Maintain Trust.
We will focus upon being more authentic (sharing the real me), logical (being rigorous in my thinking), and empathic (my being in it for others).
We Seek to Ensure That We Do Not Benefit Some at the Expense of Others.