The PW Purpose guides us “to build an inclusive caring community of women.” That’s why Presbyterian Women has made a commitment to racial equity. PW groups actively seek to build and live into God’s beloved community, where everyone’s gifts are valued and difference is appreciated. They will raise awareness of the systems of privilege that favor some and exclude others. This commitment means that speaking out against and dismantling racism in the world is a natural outlet for PW’s justice and peace work.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Office of Gender and Racial Justice provides numerous resources for groups interested in dismantling racism, including workshops on cultural humility and power and privilege. Their suggestions and training for worship-based action can help PW groups or congregations start conversations about racial justice. Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries’ Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community is a free, six-session study guide about racism in relation to faith.
In addition to facing disproportionate rates of incarceration, African Americans are disproportionately killed by police or armed civilians. Faithful responses and prophetic voices are needed. PW groups may find useful:
- A Toolkit for Ferguson from the Southern Poverty Law Center
- Criminal justice resources from the NAACP
- “Why ‘Black Lives Matter’?” handout
Presbyterian Women’s Global Exchange to Eastern Europe raised awareness within the organization about racism against Roma people (pejoratively known as gypsies). In addition to financially supporting the Roma Development Project, Presbyterian Women and PC(USA) World Mission has made available four resources of prayer and thanksgiving for Roma in celebration of International Roma Day (April 8). The Reformed Church in Hungary (RCH), one of the PC(USA)’s partner denominations, has published a book of interviews with Roma youth, mission workers, pastors, and artists within the RCH, offering insights into their joys, struggles and faith.
To ask a question or to learn more about Work For Justice and Peace, contact Stephanie M. Patterson.