Advocating for Equity
February 1st, 2022
A school board in Tennessee just voted 10-0 to ban a Pulitzer-prize winning book about the Holocaust.
A Jewish couple in Tennessee has been denied the opportunity to adopt a child with special needs. The tax-supported Christian adoption agency denied them because of their religious beliefs.
The mayor of a small town is withholding more than $100,000 in funding until the local library purges its shelves of LGBTQ-themed books.
Teachers and students in Florida could soon be banned from even talking about LGBTQ topics. It’s being dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill”. The so-called Parental Rights Bill could even forbid a student from showing the class a picture of their gay parents or even talking about their LGBTQ family.
Idaho was the first state to sign into law a measure that would withhold funding from schools that teach about enduring legacies of slavery. And lawmakers in Louisiana, New Hampshire and Tennessee have introduced bills that would ban teaching about the enduring legacies of slavery and segregationist laws, or that any state or the country is inherently racist or sexist. Governor Abbot of Texas has already signed such a measure into law in Texas.
Add the flurry of bills curtailing voting rights particularly in areas where black or brown people make up a significant number of registered voters, and the picture becomes clear. A significant number of US citizens are seeking to reinforce the white supremacy and discrimination against diversity that has long simmered barely beneath the surface of this country.
This is a call for everyone who values equal protection under the law, diversity and inclusion to speak up on behalf of our neighbors who are being sacrificed to this budding totalitarian regime.
The theme of the 2022 Gathering of the Council of Health and Human Service Ministries of the United Church of Christ (of which UCOM is an active member) is “Forward Together”. As churches, ministries, individuals, and as a nation, we cannot afford to look backward to an even less inclusive time. And we can only go forward together.
To identify and advocate for the most pressing issues in West Michigan, UCOM has joined with 30 churches and other institutions in the area to mobilize thousands of our neighbors to speak up for ourselves and one another, to advocate for systems and policy changes that will make for a more equitable climate right here at home.
When you hear about a house meeting or a listening session in your neighborhood come out or tune in virtually to be heard so that voices of justice and equity are amplified. We’ll be in touch with you with a personal invitation and/or more widely disseminated call to serve in this worthy endeavor. Stay tuned!