The September 29 entry in this space offered a quotation from Harold Weaver, Jr.’s Pendle Hill Pamphlet #465 – Race, Systemic Violence, and Retrospective Justice (2020). In that pamphlet he mentions The BlackQuaker Project, which “(1) celebrates the lives and contributions of Quakers of Color worldwide and (2) documents and addresses their concerns. It is an outreach and in-reach ministry of Wellesley Friends Meeting, guided by the Quaker testimonies of Truth, Peace, Equality, Community, and Justice.” For more information on the project, its current activities and how to get involved, see: https://tinyurl.com/yu9nxr28
The New Garden Committee on Anti-Racism
This committed was created to guide the Meeting in addressing systems of racism in our community, which may be – intentionally or unintentionally, excluding People of Color. We intend to do this by reading relevant Quaker writing, starting with those written by Black Quakers, first to educate ourselves, discussing points which may apply to New Garden Friends Meeting, and then to educate the entire New Garden community on these new ways of viewing our standard operating procedures.
Seven people serve on this committee: Karen Garraputa, Karin Heller, CH Holcombe, Kevin Lawe, Tim Lindeman, Jennifer Schaal, Roger Seel. We have met every 2 weeks to discuss writings by Black Quakers Vanessa Julye and Harold Weaver. We consider how their suggestions and sharing of history could help New Garden become a more welcoming and inclusive Quaker Community. For example, when advised to look at our building – the art and space layout – as if we were newcomers, our committee wondered whether seeing a photo gallery of white pastors on entry sends an exclusive message. Is there a more welcoming and artistic statement we could make for visitors of color in that foyer area? (Perhaps relocating all our “history” items to a History corner of the Brotherhood Rm would be an option?) And when visitors enter the foyer outside Worship room, does space allow for appropriate greetings to take place? Does the art there send a particular message.
We want to present these and other considerations to the congregation for feedback. Maybe this would be done at Monthly Meeting. But it is important for the Committee to know which ways you prefer to get updates on important issues of change, so that you would best be able to respond. In the Newsletter? On the website? Blog or social media? We do not want to leave anyone our as we begin to see our way forward. Contact Tim Lindeman with your preferences.