Ten Actions to Make the Adventist Church a More Inclusive and Just Community of Faith
ON A PERSONAL LEVEL
- Actively explore your issues regarding prejudice and racism. Participate in a dialogue on race-related issues. You can hold your own dialogue with friends, family or fellow congregants on any of these kinds of issues by using the dialogue materials that are available in the Office of Human Relations, North American Division.
- Commit to learn about others. Make a commitment to yourself to continuously learn about people of other races, ethnicities, cultures, through Scripture, new relationships, periodicals, and cultural events. This will expose you to the histories, challenges, opportunities, and current experiences of others.
- Examine your myths and stereotypes of others. Make a list of the stereotypes you hold about people of different races, cultures, and ethnicities. Think about at what point in your life these thoughts originated and why. Question if they are true by challenging yourself to disprove them through study and discussion.
- Be more conscious of racial prejudice and privilege. Reflect on how racial prejudice and privilege affect you. Examine the daily impact and the aggregate result of your life experience based on the color of your skin. Think about how your life would be different if your skin was another color.
- Become an ally of people other than those of your own race, ethnicity, culture or religion. Personally confront racist comments and discrimination even if you are a member of the targeted group.
- Arrive at a personal understanding that you are morally bound (by God) to engage in anti-racial activities in order to reach the ultimate realizations of your faith tradition. This can be accomplished by consulting with church leaders and developing specific policy statements which name racism as a sin, a problem of the heart, and an evil that must be addressed.
ON A LOCAL CHURCH (COMMUNITY) LEVEL
- Complete Our Congregational Diversity Evaluation. This non-scientific tool provides you with an opportunity to assess your congregation's awareness, commitment, and policies, particularly on race-related issues and other issues critical to unity.
- Urge your church school leaders to address all communities of color within the church and country. Our children deserve to know about contributions of each community. Lessons on the history and literature of the groups that make up our population should be a part of each child's learning experience at their place of worship.
ON A NATIONAL (UNION AND DIVISIONAL) LEVEL
- Support your elected officials in their demonstration of a commitment to diversity inclusion. Identify policies that you can help address that advance racial reconciliation and justice.
- Contact local, union, and division leaders. Identify diversity initiatives that can be addressed at the local and divisional levels to advance reconciliation and justice. Commit yourself to involvement at the level where your contribution can best be felt.
Prepared by the Office of Human Relations of the North American Division of the General Conference of SDA with the assistance of The National Conference For Community And Justice.