The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Mississippi joined together on Nov. 15 to host a 90-minute forum, Fifty Years Later: The State of Racism in America, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the civil rights movement.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori delivered the keynote address exploring issues of race and discrimination. “Let us dream of a world where every family, language, people, and nation is gathered in the commonwealth of God. Learn vigilance, teach and work for justice, that we might become the beloved community of God’s rainbow people – every family, language, people, and nation gathered before the Lamb, himself one of the lowly and rejected. Dream that world into being here on earth, and drive out hell to bring it to birth!”
There were two panel discussions, “Racism in America Today: Why Does It Persist?” and “Racism in America’s Future: Where Is There Hope for Change?” Speakers included Ms. Myrlie Evers-Williams, journalist and widow of slain civil-rights leader Medgar Evers, and The Hon. William F. Winter, former governor of Mississippi and founder of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.
The on-demand video of the forum is now available for group and individual viewing here.
Our own Diocese has a Committee on Race and Reconciliation whose mission is to support the Diocese, its churches, committees, commissions and related organizations in eliminating racism and encouraging cultural diversity, recognizing and incorporating the diverse & enriching gifts of all races and cultures. Visit the committee’s website for more information or to express interest or support.
For more information on how the Episcopal Church interacts with the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Civil War, in light of last February’s diocesan apology for its role in slavery, read this article from the latest issue of the Virginia Episcopalian, “The Confederate Episcopal Church.”