The battle against racism continues as people strive to promote equality and discard discrimination among individuals. A Redding church is about to make a move to encourage acceptance to every people in the North State and all of the people.
Racism is a form of discrimination based on the belief that some races or ethnic groups are superior or inferior to others. It is a practice perpetuated throughout history, resulting in inequalities in access to opportunities, resources, and rights. Racism can start in any way, and this pressing issue is called to put an end.
Redding Church's Efforts in Combatting Racism
The First United Methodist Church established an Anti-Racism Task Force intending to combat racism by raising awareness of unfair practices and issues that affect Black people and other minority groups. According to Record Searchlight, the task force conducts educational programs both within and outside the church, as well as events to promote its cause. Its chairperson, Sue Kermode, states that the task force is committed to challenging systems of power and access that perpetuate racism by speaking out against and actively working against it.
The church formed the task force in the summer of 2020, shortly after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Since then, the task force has engaged in various initiatives, such as letter-writing campaigns, book distribution through kids' programs, and efforts to improve literacy among underrepresented people in Shasta County. The task force's efforts are aligned with its mission to create a more equitable and just society, free from the scourge of racism.
The church offers courses for adults that promote empathy and raise awareness of the discrimination faced by Black people. The courses include titles such as "Social Principals" and "Fear of the Other, No Fear in Love." The task force recently conducted a class called "Justice or Just Us?" with the participation of 15 individuals from various churches and organizations. Kermode stated that the class was successful and may be offered again this year, potentially at other venues beyond the Methodist church.
Some Keys to End Racism and Discrimination
UNDP suggested some keys to help end discrimination and racism. First, government policies and laws must be non-discriminatory and inclusive, promoting democratic processes and respect for rights. Next, citizens can promote a culture of tolerance, understanding, and respect for diversity, encouraging civil society and the media to work towards dispelling stereotypes and promoting intercultural exchange.
Lastly, engaging the next generation to prevent the perpetuation of discriminatory attitudes and behaviors is essential by teaching the value of diversity and tolerance at an early age in homes, schools, and society.
According to an article in the Oikoumene World Council of Churches, the call for racial justice applies not only to society but also to the churches. The council urges churches to advocate for and stand in solidarity with racial justice efforts, confront and address their internal racism, reflect on their past actions towards Indigenous Peoples, African descendants, ethnic minorities, and Dalits, and commit to transformation.