Charter for Racial Justice
Adopted by the 1980 General Conference of The United Methodist Church
Because We Believe:
- that God is the Creator of all people and all are God’s children in one family;
- that racism is a rejection of the teachings of Jesus Christ;
- that racism denies the redemption and reconciliation of Jesus Christ;
- that racism robs all human beings of their wholeness and is used as a justification for social, economic and political exploitation;
- that we must declare before God and before each other that we have sinned against our sisters and brothers of other races in thought, in word and in deed;
- that in our common humanity in creation all women and men are made in God’s image and all persons are equally valuable in the sight of God;
- that our strength lies in our racial and cultural diversity and that we must work toward a world in which each person’s value is respected and nurtured;
- that our struggle for justice must be based on new attitudes, new understandings and new relationships and must be reflected in the law, policies, structures and practices of both church and state;
We commit ourselves as individuals and as a community to follow Jesus Christ in word and in deed and to struggle for the rights and the self-determination of every person and group of persons. Therefore, as United Methodist Women in every place across the land ...
We Will Unite Our Efforts with All Groups in The United Methodist Church:
- to eliminate all forms of institutional racism in the total ministry of the church with special attention given to those institutions which we support, beginning with their employment policies, purchasing practices and availability of services and facilities.
- to create opportunities in local churches to deal honestly with the existing racist attitudes and social distance between members, deepening the Christian commitment to be the church where all racial groups and economic classes come together.
- to increase our efforts to recruit women of all races into the membership of United Methodist Women and provide leadership development opportunities without discrimination.
- to create workshops and seminars in local churches to study, understand and appreciate the historical and cultural contributions of each race to the church and community.
- to increase local churches, awareness of the continuing needs for equal education, housing, employment and medical care for all members of the community and create opportunities to work for these things across racial lines.
- to work for the development and implementation of national and international policies to protect the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of all people such as through support for the ratification of United Nations covenants on human rights.
- to support and participate in the world-wide struggle for liberation in the church and community.
- to support nomination and election processes which include all racial groups employing a quota system until the time that our voluntary performance makes such practice unnecessary.
United Methodist Women (Women's Division at the time) wrote and adopted this Charter in 1978, recommending the adoption of the Charter by the whole denomination in 1980. General Conference adoption constitutes a strengthened mandate to work for the speedy implementation within jurisdiction, conference, district and local structures.
United Methodist Women continues the urgent call to all members, groups, districts and conferences to study and act on the principles and goals stated in this Charter.
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