racial justice - archive
racial justice sunday 2012
What are the links with other events?
Each autumn in the UK, there are a series of initiatives that have a common element of which Racial Justice Sunday is one. It is interesting to make some links with the principles behind these events.
Racial Justice Sunday became important for the Churches in the UK some years ago when the ethnic diversity was becoming even more diverse and the growing lack of cohesion was challenging. The purpose behind such an initiative was to equip the churches to address Racial Justice issues in all that they do, not just on Racial Justice Sunday (second Sunday in September) so that the Churches could honestly say all are welcome, all are valued in our communities.
One World Week (OWW) is also a well-established week in the autumn of every year. Here the organisation believes that when we understand each other's perspectives, our lives can be transformed and enriched. OWW's long term vision for 2015 is of people working together to build a just, peaceful and sustainable world. They recognise that our world is interdependent, what each of us does affect all others and the ecosystem that sustains us. OWW want to build a network of a co-operating individuals and organisations to provide opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to come together to:
- acknowledge our interdependence;
- learn about global justice, spread that learning and use it to take action to increase equality, justice and sustainability, locally and globally.
Churches might like to use the One World Week worship anthology resources for their services on 21 or 28 October 2012 on the theme: ‘Sharing destiny - Moving Towards One World'. They will be available by late summer, for download
Black History Month (BHM) Afrikan History Month (AHM) is held every October in Britain. It aims to promote knowledge of Black History, culture and heritage and disseminate information on positive Black contributions to British society as well as heighten the confidence and awareness of Black people to their cultural heritage.
The origins of BHM go back to 1926 when Carter G Woodson, editor for thirty years of the Journal of Negro History, established African Caribbean celebrations in America. It is still celebrated there in February each year. In Britain, the BHM has now grown to over 6,000 events.
Information from: http://www.black-history-month.co.uk/
Interfaith Week, marked at the end of November each year, issued a statement on 16 November 2009 part of which reads;
"We believe that good inter faith relations are a vital part of a harmonious, just and respectful society ...Alongside all of good will, we will work to tackle with renewed determination the challenges of poverty, ignorance, injustice, crime and violence, and social fragmentation and to help shape a society where all feel at home; all are valued and justly treated; and all have a chance to thrive."
More information is available from the Inter-faith Week website
In July 2008 the Department for Communities and Local Government published Face to Face and Side by Side - a Framework for Partnership in our Multi Faith Society . This document presented the Government's strategy for encouraging the further development of inter faith activity in England. It set out how faith communities, Government and wider society can work together, at all levels, to bring people with different religions and beliefs together.
It can be found here (PDF)
National Poverty and Homelessness week although not celebrated in the autumn each year, rather in early February, recognises the barriers to a full inclusive society as being:
Rich | Poor, Housed | Homeless, Rural | Urban, Migrant | Settled, Homeowner | Tenant, Employed | Unemployed, Private sector | Public sector, Employer | Employee, Bankers | The rest.
These barriers, they believe prevent us from understanding one another. They are created by; unfair benefits rules and inadequate wages, by the stigma attached to being poor or homeless and by the growing gap between the richest and poorest people in our society.
Churches and community projects can break these barriers. They can challenge prejudice, enable excluded people to live full lives, and build a fairer world.
Information taken from www.actionweek.org.uk
These extracts, taken from the websites for each for the organisations, serve to illustrate the common elements of the work of these organisations and help us to see how all the endeavours of these national groups are interdependent. The quest for justice, harmony, participation, understanding that can help us build a fairer world are written clearly within the aims of all of these groups.
You may wish to consider how you can build links in the activities you choose to do locally that will join up the common work of all of these initiatives for it is as whole people, not broken ones, and whole communities, not fractured ones, that we can bring about a fairer world for all.