The Acts of Convention

Year   
         

Resolution Number: 2015-C019
Title: Work for Racial Justice and Reconciliation
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred as Substituted
Final Text:

Resolved, That the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church confesses that, despite repeated efforts at anti-racism training as well as racial justice and racial reconciliation initiatives including the passage of more than 30 General Convention resolutions dating back to 1952, the abomination and sin of racism continue to plague our society and our Church at great cost to human life and human dignity; we formally acknowledge our historic and contemporary participation in this evil and repent of it; and be it further

Resolved, That in the wake of the brutal, overtly racist murders of nine of our Christian brothers and sisters of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015; numerous inexcusable deaths of unarmed black men and youth at the hands of law enforcement personnel; and the moral atrocity of mass incarceration in which a hugely disproportionate number of persons of color have been unfairly caught in the net of an unjust criminal justice system, the 78th General Convention affirms as a top priority of The Episcopal Church in the upcoming triennium the challenging and difficult work of racial reconciliation through prayer, teaching, engagement, and action; and be it further

Resolved, That the Church understands and affirms that the call to pray and act for racial reconciliation is integral to our witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to our living into the demands of our Baptismal Covenant; and be it further

Resolved, That the Presiding Bishop, President of the House of Deputies, Vice President of the House of Bishops, and Vice President of the House of Deputies be charged to lead, direct, and be present to assure and account for the Church’s work of racial justice and reconciliation; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention request that the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance consider a budget allocation of $1.2 million for the Triennium for the implementation of this resolution.

Citation: General Convention, Journal of the General Convention of...The Episcopal Church, Salt Lake City, 2015 (New York: General Convention, 2015), pp. 310-311.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

Author: Diocese of Washington
Originating House: House of Deputies
Originating Committee: Social Justice and United States Policy

House of Deputies

The House of Deputies Committee on Social Justice and United States Policy presented its Report #10 on Resolution C019 (Establish Response to Systemic Racial Injustice) and moved adoption of a substitute.

Original Text of Resolution:

(C019)

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church recognize that from racial profiling, search and seizure laws and prosecution, to federal mandatory sentencing guidelines, there is a disproportionate application and enforcement of the legal system for people of color in this country, some with long-term or permanent ramifications, including loss of civil rights and eligibility for various federal benefits post-incarceration; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention take steps to establish and coordinate efforts to educate and assist congregations across the country to study, pray, and act for justice; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention take steps to establish dialogues with local, regional and national law enforcement agencies to understand, re-examine and change perceptions, behaviors, policies and sentencing guidelines so they are all applied fairly to all people; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention urge the Executive Council and the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church to advocate publicly for change in national policies, legal systems and law enforcement; and distribute this Resolution to the Congress of the United States.

Committee Substitute:

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church confesses that, despite repeated efforts at anti-racism training as well as racial justice and racial reconciliation initiatives including the passage of more than 30 General Convention resolutions dating back to 1952, the abomination and sin of racism continue to plague our society and our Church at great cost to human life and human dignity; we formally acknowledge our historic and contemporary participation in this evil and repent of it; and be it further

Resolved, That in the wake of the brutal, overtly racist murders of nine of our Christian brothers and sisters of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015; numerous inexcusable deaths of unarmed black men and youth at the hands of law enforcement personnel; and the moral atrocity of mass incarceration in which a hugely disproportionate number of persons of color have been unfairly caught in the net of an unjust criminal justice system, the 78th General Convention affirms as a top priority of The Episcopal Church in the upcoming triennium the challenging and difficult work of racial reconciliation through prayer, teaching, engagement, and action; and be it further

Resolved, That the Church understands and affirms that the call to pray and act for racial reconciliation is integral to our witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to our living into the demands of our Baptismal Covenant; and be it further

Resolved, That the Presiding Bishop, President of the House of Deputies, Vice President of the House of Bishops, and Vice President of the House of Deputies be charged to lead, direct, and be present to assure and account for the Church’s work of racial justice and reconciliation; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention request that the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance consider a budget allocation of $1.2 million for the triennium for the implementation of this resolution.

Deputy Sparks of Minnesota moved to postpone consideration of Resolution C019 until after the hearing of the House of Deputies Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance.

Motion defeated

A vote was taken on the resolution.

Motion carried

Substitute resolution adopted

(Communicated to the House of Bishops in HD Message #58)

House of Bishops

The House of Bishops Committee on Social Justice and United States Policy presented its Report #9 on HD Message #58 on Resolution C019 (Establish Response to Systemic Racial Injustice) and moved concurrence.

Bishop Sauls moved to amend the resolution.

Proposed Amendment:

At the end of the last Resolve, insert "through a plan to be developed by the staff of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society in consultation with the Executive Council."

The question was called.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on the amendment.

Motion defeated

Amendment defeated

The question was called on the Resolution.

Motion carried

Debate terminated

A vote was taken on Resolution C019.

Motion carried

The House concurred

(Communicated to the House of Deputies in HB Message #133)

Resolution Concurred by Both Houses, June 30.

Abstract:   The 78th General Convention acknowledges its past participation in the sin of racism and affirms as its top priority in the triennium to work for racial justice and reconciliation.