The Antiracism Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago (ARC) is dedicated to overcoming racism through the pursuit of antiracist policies, practices and procedures in the Diocese of Chicago.
The commission also partners with diocesan entities, churches and communities by to develop policies, processes and plans to dismantle racist structures and advocates that people of color have full access to leadership roles and participation at every level of diocesan life.
The work of the commission is rooted in part in the diocese’s study of the legacy of slavery in its history that was presented to diocesan convention in 2013.
The most visible aspect of its ministry are programs and trainings that it either conducts of endorses. Through these offerings, the commission seeks to construct a common antiracist language and analysis to foster ongoing vigilance in identifying and dismantling systemic racist policies, practices and procedures.
The offerings include:
Critical Cultural Competency Training
This one-day Critical Cultural Competency workshop is designed for participants who want to understand the ways that societal inequity is embedded in institutional life as well as in individuals through socialization processes that shape thoughts and behaviors. The Critical Cultural Competency workshop is built on the premise that US society has a dominant set of norms, values and ways of life. This dominant culture establishes the rules and laws by which all people and their ways of life are measured, resulting in a society with unjust power dynamics based on socially constructed identities such as race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability.
The workshop will examine the ways that US society values and advantages some groups while devaluing and disadvantaging other groups through cultural bias along socially defined categories. The workshop will explore how people within institutions can begin to create new institutional culture by rooting their structure and organizational lifeways in a set of anti-oppressive, transformational values. Participants will examine unconscious bias and learn about the value shift required to start creating more equitable provision of services, programs, and institutional culture.
Introduction to Systemic Racism
The idea that oppression, and in particular, racism, is not only a matter of individual prejudice but a systemic, institutional problem of power is foundational to the Introduction to Systemic Racism workshop, and requires structural intervention to dismantle.
Participants in this workshop will gain shared language and frameworks with which to grapple not only with their unwitting legitimization of systemic racism but with what committing to the work of dismantling racism and of cultivating antiracist culture and practice in their institutions will require. They will be introduced to a strategic methodology that can assist them to organize the work of dismantling racism in the institutions in which they are invested.
Understanding & Analyzing Systemic Racism Trainings
The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago requires antiracism training for people in elected and appointed leadership positions. The training is also open to anyone in the diocese who wants to help build a stronger multicultural community.
Understanding and Analyzing Systemic Racism, presented by Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism (Chicago ROAR) and subsidized by the Antiracism Commission of the Diocese of Chicago, provides an in-depth look at race and racism in the United States. Individuals affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago attend at a reduced rate.
Pathway to Reconciliation
Pathway to Reconciliation, a response to resolutions adopted by both diocesan conventions and General Convention, is a vital exploration of our collective pasts and its impact on the present. Its goal is to create a new possible future of reconciliation for the church and the world.
Pathway to Reconciliation participants are asked to join with members of their congregations in reading, discussing and actively implementing the recommendations of the Legacy of Slavery Taskforce Report. During Pathway to Reconciliation conversations, participants listen and engage in conversations to generate awareness, reveal truth, face the past and forge a new future through action and reconciliation. Participation is not about shaming or blaming, but about acknowledging how our past impacts our present and future. Through Pathway to Reconciliation, we hope the Holy Spirit will create a pathway to a future of reconciliation and the Beloved Community.
Pathway to Reconciliation is the congregational study guide to the Diocese of Chicago’s Legacy of Slavery Taskforce Report (Spanish version here). All congregations are expected to send one more volunteers for training in how to facilitate Pathway to Reconciliation conversations.
Task Force on the Legacy of Slavery
At the 176th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Chicago in November 2013, the Task Force on the Legacy of Slavery presented its report. Download the executive summary and the full report:
During the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 1988 several resolutions were adopted for action by the various dioceses to address the sin of racism. The Diocese of Chicago responded by affirming the General Convention resolution in 1989. Subsequent actions by the Diocese of Chicago include the Bishop’s Advisory Commission to End Racism (BACTER) in 1993, the Illinois Lutheran Episcopal Anti-Racism Project (ILEAP) in 1999 which became the Anti-Racism Commission. The Task Force on the Legacy of Slavery is the most recent effort to address racism.
Download Resolution F-172 from the 172nd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Chicago enabling the Task Force.
Antiracism Commission Members
Marvin Hill, co-chair – St. Philip, Palatine
Robert Purcell, co-chair – St. Philip, Palatine
The Rev. Carolyn Bavaro – St. Martin, Chicago
The Rev. Miguel Briones – St. Mark, Glen Ellyn
The Rev. Gary Cox – Sta. Teresa, Chicago
Phala Daniel Diggs – St. Thomas, Chicago
Diane Shalda – St. James Cathedral, Chicago
Newland Smith – St. David, Glenview
Rory Smith – St. Thomas, Chicago
Donna Williams – St. Benedict, Bolingbrook