Racism is a system of oppression fed by individual and collective attitudes, and by actions that discriminate against, oppress, exclude, and limit minoritized people on the basis of race and/or the colour of their skin. It is also a system of privilege that gives White people in North America unearned economic, social, political, and cultural advantages.
Information and Action
- Anti-Racism Policy
In 2000, building on a long tradition of engagement in social justice and human rights issues, the 37th General Council of The United Church of Canada recognized the need to address racism within and outside ourselves, and adopted the Anti-Racism Policy That All May Be One.
- Racial Justice Overview
Racism affects us all through privilege or oppression—intentionally or not—and through our complicity in systems that maintain the status quo.
- Racial Justice Training
Working toward racial justice in church and society is a life-long “heart” journey. Racial justice training for all active ministry personnel was mandated at the 39th General Council 2006.
- Working to End Racial Discrimination
The call to act against racism is more urgent now than ever because it is becoming more difficult to identify—hidden as it is within the liberal democratic policies that we value and adhere to.
United Church communities work on issues of racial justice through a variety of initiatives at the local and regional level. For information on initiatives in your local area, please contact your local Conference office.
Background, Resources, and Links
- Awakening to a Painful Reality [PDF: 2 pp/69 KB]
Chelsea Masterman reflects on how her experience with a Joint Mission Action Team of the Caribbean and North American Council for Mission opened her eyes to the reality of racism.
- Black History Month (February)
Resources for Black History (or African Heritage) Month: a time to honour the historical and present contributions of peoples of African descent.
- Ending Racial Harassment: Creating Healthy Congregations (2008)
Offers guidelines to help church members, ministers, and congregational committees recognize, understand, and stop racial harassment. A workshop outline is included to facilitate group study.
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
Worship resources to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed annually on March 21 on the anniversary of the day in 1960 when police opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against the apartheid “pass laws.”
- Mamow be-mo-tay-tah/Let Us Walk Together (Canadian Ecumenical Anti-racism Network, 2009)
A compilation of articles by Aboriginal writers gathered to help people of Canada engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Read excerpts from the introduction [PDF: 1 p/29 KB] by Harley Eagle, describing how the journey to right relations must be a journey to unmask racism in our communities and our churches and face our own power and privilege.
- Mandate, May 2008: Empire and Racial Power
Workshops, worship, and reflections on the theme of empire and racism. The article “Unpacking White Privilege” is particularly recommended.
- Musings Toward a Postcolonial Feminist Intercultural Ecclesiology for The United Church of Canada in the 21st Century [PDF: 5 pp/48 KB] by Greer Anne Wenh-In Ng
From The United Church of Canada’s "Beyond Survival to God’s Mission” consultation, held in February 2009 in Mississauga, Ontario.
- Some Selected Resources for Building Racial Justice [PDF: 4 pp/35 KB]
A reading list of recommended books, films, and online and print resources.
- That All May Be One Brochure
Introduces the United Church’s anti-racism policy in an inviting format. (Also available in French from Ministères en Français.)
For more information, please contact: