Race and Culture
Highlights of the Preliminary Report
THE CHANGE WE NEED TO MAKE
The recommendations in this report exist to further three central changes needed for the Missouri Annual Conference to thrive as a network and community that is pursuing healthy ethnic diversity, multicultural ministry and consistent and intentional efforts in dismantling racism within our networks.
- Cultivate welcoming environments at Conference and congregational levels by providing training in cultural awareness and resources for Conference staff and local congregations.
- Facilitate courageous conversations regarding the dismantling of racist theologies and practices within our midst.
- Initiate and activate change in policies, practices, networking and recruiting strategies to allow for greater ethnic and cultural representation at the highest levels of leadership.
FOCUS AREAS AND KEY STRATEGIES
1. Build awareness around the concept of the Beloved Community and equip United Methodists in Missouri for intergenerational conversations on bias, racial justice and Jesus’s understanding of loving God and neighbor.
2. Build appreciation for the diversity of the Conference by sharing Black and Brown people’s stories and encounters with racism, as well as hopes and ideas for combating it.
3. Assess Conference attitudes around bias, culture, race and privilege to create a baseline for how the Conference is doing related to diversity and inclusion.
TRAINING AND ACCOUNTABILITY
4. Build a Conference-wide training plan for clergy and laity in the areas of intercultural competency, implicit bias, microaggressions and cultural blind spots.
5. Make diversity an integral part of the Missouri Conference mission, vision and expectations.
LEADERSHIP AND RECRUITMENT
6. Develop processes for the recruitment of leaders that demonstrates a high value on diversity and inclusion.
7. Prioritize diversity for Conference staff and the organization of Conference work.
8. Develop equity plans across Conference-funding arrangements.
- January 2021 – Episcopal Task Force on Race and Culture Named
- January – April 2021 – Task Force Convenes
- May 2021 – Task Force presents preliminary report to Bishop Farr
- September – December 2021 – Cabinet and Mission Council works through preliminary report
- January 2022 – Presentation of the Final Report on Race and Culture
Progress and Milestones
What the Missouri Conference has done to-date
- August 13, 2021 – Race and Culture Update
- May 27, 2021 – Race and Culture Report at 2021 Pre-Conference Briefing
- January 25, 2021 – Episcopal Task Force on Race and Culture Named
- June 1, 2020 – Bishop Farr Expresses Outrage, Need to be Antiracist
- September 29, 2019 – BMCR Fifth Sunday Worship
- April 29, 2019 – Common Causes
- January 23, 2019 – Pan-Methodist Emancipation Proclamation Celebration
- April 23, 2018 – United Methodists Stand, Act to End Racism
- November 10, 2016 – Bishop Farr announces first three days of prayer and service
- October 10, 2016 – Bishop’s Call to Prayer: Invites Methodists to explore anti-racism as a way of living out social holiness
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