Friends for Racial Justice Committee
The Friends for Racial Justice Committee aims to draw ourselves and other members of the Meeting community to a deeper understanding of our participation in a culture in which white people benefit from unearned privileges and power solely by virtue of their whiteness. FORJ does this by offering book and video discussion and workshops on structural racism and other racial justice issues at Friends Meeting at Cambridge, in the Religious Society of Friends, and in US society.
As we deepen our understanding of racism we see that it is one of several interconnected systems of oppression, such as sexism, classism, homophobia and anti-Semitism. We currently support the Sharing Circle, which provides a meal each Wednesday evening for formerly incarcerated people and those who care about them, along with a structured opportunity for participants to share what is on their hearts and minds in a safe, spiritually-grounded setting.
We are an active and supportive committee. FORJ encourages individuals in racial justice-related ministries in their communities, engages with others across NEYM about concerns related to racism from how to teach about racism and whiteness to attending events of public witness against racism. For example, we have participated in SURJ (Standing Up for Racial Justice), attended vigils in support of Standing Rock and local Muslim communities, and joined in rallies calling for the end of the killing of young Black lives. We encourage and call for FMC to explore ways to stand in corporate witness that challenges racism.
Reports from the 2016 White Privilege Conference
Eighteen Cambridge Friends attended the White Privilege Conference (WPC), April 14-17, 2016, in Philadelphia, PA, as part of the Meeting’s anti-racism work. Several attendees wrote their reflections on this experience.
Friends for Racial Justice Committee and others at FMC will keep lifting up this work. Christa Frintner and Diana Lopez gave a Sunday morning forum on September 18, 2016, about working on racism from a “spiritual but not religious” perspective.
2016 WPC Plenary Presenters Books and Videos
Jasiri X – founder of 1Hood and activist hip hop artist/emcee
Yusef Salaam – one of the “Central Park Five”, served 12 years in jail before sentence overturned.
Verna Meyers – spirited motivational speaker, an engaging expert facilitator, and a courageous strategic advisor.
- Book: Moving Diversity Forward: How to Move From Well-Meaning to Well-Doing
- Book: What If I Say the Wrong Thing? 25 Habits for Culturally Effective People
- Book: Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference
- Video: Interview on racial literacy including racial socialization for white people AND people of color (relates to micro aggressions)
- Video: Talk on promoting racial literacy in schools begins with lively story of his growing and context out of which his work comes. Can be applied to other settings.