Welcome to this year’s Racial Justice Sunday resources.
Racial Justice Sunday, 14 February 2021.
(Please note the Catholic Church in England and Wales is suggesting observing the Sunday on 31 January 2021).
Last year, 2020, marked the 25th anniversary of Racial Justice Sunday (RJS) in Britain and Ireland. This significant anniversary also coincided with the tragic killing of African American, George Floyd and the re-emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement with its various protests on both sides of the Atlantic. All this coincided with the emergence of a pandemic that continues to wreak havoc in societies around world, ruining lives in the process. The COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the existing inequalities in our society; the poorer, more marginalised communities are disproportionately impacted by this pandemic. In due course, all these events served to demonstrate the need for greater racial justice in Britain and Ireland.
These events also caused much soul-searching and anxious conversations within the Church, as to how it should respond to what has taken place. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, many denominations issued statements condemning the killing; some called for changes in society as well as the Church, while others had conversations about its significance. Practically all recognised that this was a Kairos moment in which inaction or indifference was not an option.
From a Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) perspective, we believed this was a moment for Christians to be bold and prophetic – for us to look to Christian scriptures which speak of a God who loves justice, and a Saviour who was “sent….to set the oppressed free’. We also recognised that the journey toward racial justice would not be easy, but one that can be achieved with courage, conviction and faith. All journeys begin with steps, and for us, those steps involve the “Three ‘R”s’ of Remembering, Reflecting and Responding:
- Remembering the importance of racial justice
- Reflecting on human diversity and thank God for it
- Responding by working to end injustice, racism and ignorance through prayer and action.
They are known as the “Three ‘R”s’ because education in its broadest sense, plays such a key role in racial justice. As a result, we have decided to republish the wealth of material that has been created over 25 to celebrate RJS, to the Silver Jubilee anniversary. These resources are diverse in nature and explore the issue of racial justice from various perspectives. Some of these resources were produced by CTBI sponsoring churches, while others were written by key figures from within ecumenical movement in Britain and Ireland. What they all have in common is their pertinence and prescience on the important matter of racial justice, and the need for brothers and sisters in Christ to engage with it.
This material will also be supplemented by a Racial Justice Champions resources which recognises the contributions of 50 people (25 women and men) who have championed the cause of racial justice in British and Irish churches. These resources have also been produced to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Racial Justice Sunday and celebrate the work of racial justice pioneers – people who have struggled to make the churches address the racism within their structures and in society, and whose efforts have often gone unrecognised. By looking to the past (and present), this resource will also encourage the Church to raise up and support a new generation of racial justice champions who will be proactive (rather than reactive) to racism in Church and society.
For downloads, please see the Resources Page.