February is Black History Month.  It represents a time to celebrate the many accomplishments of African Americans in U.S. history but also compels us to recognize that racial justice is still a work in progress today.  What can we do to eliminate institutional racism and build bridges across races and cultures?

In 1980, the United Methodist Church adopted the Charter for Racial Justice.  This month and always, we affirm that “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; and
  • 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.”

See what our denomination does to advocate for racial justice here.  It is up to all of us to contribute to racial justice in own lives too.  We would love for you to share your stories this month.