In her pamphlet, “The Seed Cracked Open: Growing Beyond Racism”, author Vanessa Julye, a Black Quaker woman from PA, exposes racism within the Religious Society of Friends. In response to Friends asking her repeatedly, “What can I do?” Julye and scholar Barrington Dunbar make the following suggestions:
- Nurture your “Inner Light” to be as effective as was “Black Power” in causing change.
- Listen in love to Black people of America, even if it makes you uncomfortable with their sometimes loud and violent speech.
- To support the quest of Black people to achieve self-identity and power, invite or nominate them to serve on Boards or committees in institutions where they have been left out of decision-making.
- Invest your money and skills in providing incentives for Black people to develop economic, political and social structures in our community.
- Support passage of Anti-poverty legislation in urban settings.
- Oppose racial injustice in your neighborhoods, businesses, contacts, and Quaker Meetings.
- Acknowledge and accept that we do have prejudices, no matter how painful that may be.
- Learn from the experiences of Quakers of color.
- Educate yourself about language that offends people of color.
- Put yourself in situations where you share experiences with Quakers of color (or people of color).
- In your daily life, search your own heart for what you and your Meeting can do to move along the spectrum of healing hurts and transforming our current Quaker systems.
submitted by C.H. Holcombe.