SOCIAL JUSTICE

Inspired by the Good News of the Gospel and lead by the teaching of Jesus Christ the Shiloh Fifth Avenue faith community has a history of active social justice, allegiance with marginalized people and practical response to meeting the needs of our neighbours.

The Black Lives Matter protests in America, Canada and abroad in addition to the circumstances we have all found ourselves in due to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the ongoing, systemic racism present in the institutions we have expected to serve all members of the community without regard to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status and education.

SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE MEETING
Time: Monday October 5, 2020 07:00 PM Via Zoom

Meeting ID: 951 9638 3604
Passcode: 044190
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Meeting ID: 951 9638 3604
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/acS6uBQlVa

SIX STEPS OF NONVIOLENT SOCIAL CHANGE

The Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change are based on Dr. King’s nonviolent campaigns and teachings that emphasize love in action. Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence, as reviewed in the Six Principles of Nonviolence, guide these steps for social and interpersonal change.

  • INFORMATION GATHERING (We are here): To understand and articulate an issue, problem or injustice facing a person, community, or institution you must do research. You must investigate and gather all vital information from all sides of the argument or issue so as to increase your understanding of the problem. You must become an expert on your opponent’s position.
  • EDUCATION: It is essential to inform others, including your opposition, about your issue. This minimizes misunderstandings and gains you support and sympathy.
  • PERSONAL COMMITMENT: Daily check and affirm your faith in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence. Eliminate hidden motives and prepare yourself to accept suffering, if necessary, in your work for justice.
  • DISCUSSION/NEGOTIATION: Using grace, humor and intelligence, confront the other party with a list of injustices and a plan for addressing and resolving these injustices. Look for what is positive in every action and statement the opposition makes. Do not seek to humiliate the opponent but to call forth the good in the opponent.
  • DIRECT ACTION: These are actions taken when the opponent is unwilling to enter into, or remain in, discussion/negotiation. These actions impose a “creative tension” into the conflict, supplying moral pressure on your opponent to work with you in resolving the injustice.
  • RECONCILIATION: Nonviolence seeks friendship and understanding with the opponent. Nonviolence does not seek to defeat the opponent. Nonviolence is directed against evil systems, forces, oppressive policies, unjust acts, but not against persons. Through reasoned compromise, both sides resolve the injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step close to the ‘Beloved Community.’

NEXT STEPS:

  • Reverend Shannon Tennant will discuss the option of creating a mural on the fence of St Barnabas Anglican Church in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, denouncing systemic racism
  • Find speakers to provide information about systemic racism and create Information sessions for our community
  • Locate events advancing social justice causes, or providing information to attend as a group, but also to have an opportunity to discuss afterwards
  • Movie events relevant to social justice movements, with discussion to follow
  • Create and schedule workshops online during COVID-19, or in person, if appropriate
  • Create connections with culturally diverse congregations, perhaps becoming “sibling” churches similar in concept to “sibling” cities.

FURTHER STEPS:

Petition levels of government to find ways to end systems of racism in Canada

RELATED LINKS:

https://justrecoveryforall.ca/

https://www.united-church.ca/blogs/round-table/how-shall-we-respond-racial-injustice

https://thekingcenter.org/king-philosophy/

A Prayer
Source of grace,
Creator of kindness and goodness,
You call upon us to stand in the name of justice and fairness,
To witness against the abuse of power,
To battle the systematic assault on human beings,
To speak out against their suffering.
Bless those who rise up against this horror.
Give them courage and determination.
Bless those who plead on behalf of the oppressed and the subjugated
Before the seats of power.
May the work of their hands never falter
Nor despair deter them from this holy calling.
Blessed are You, God of All Being,
Who summons us to oppose violence, oppression, slavery and injustice.
– from “Children at our Borders” by Alden Solovy,
found on reformjudaism.org