To walk the path of the Journey Toward Wholeness is to heal the brokenness in our nation, in our faith community, and in our individual hearts.
The work of anti-racism and anti-oppression is essentially spiritual work. The term Journey Toward Wholeness expresses the spiritual nature of the work and a recognition that there is a brokenness caused by racism. As we move towards healing and transformation we acknowledge the causes of this brokenness:
- The extermination of Native Americans, the enslavement of African peoples, the exclusion of Asians, and the internment of Japanese Americans.
- Our nation’s history is mirrored in our faith community. For example, we remember Thomas Jefferson for whom we have named one of our districts—the author of one of the greatest documents of human freedom and champion of religious liberty—and yet he was an owner of African people who were enslaved and an avid proponent of taking the land of Native Americans.
- In our hearts as individuals, the demonic power of racism shapes the identities of peoples of all races in our society. Racist institutions acculturate those of us who are white to think that we are somehow superior to People of Color. And it forces people of color to internalize the oppression of the dominant society.
The path begins internally. We take a fresh look at ourselves and learn to identify our personal and institutional relationships to oppressive systems. We learn skills to help dismantle racism in our institutions. At the same time that we work to get our own house in order we move into authentic multiracial, multicultural, and interfaith coalitions for effective spiritually-driven-action for justice. As we take steps along this path to begin to understand racism and oppression—individual, cultural, and institutional—we do the work of the analysis of racism.