The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island will soon have a new and groundbreaking tool for helping its congregations, leaders, and people grapple with the pernicious issue of systemic racism. This public, data-grounded, map-based platform will reside on the diocesan website and be available for free to all who want to engage systemic racism in their neighborhoods.
The idea for this project was born when the diocese’s Canon for Ministry Support, the Rev. Canon Claire Woodley, attended a FaithX webinar entitled, “I Can’t Breathe: Mapping Systemic Racism in Your Community” last November. According to Canon Woodley, she immediately saw how this would fit perfectly into the diocese’s evolving approach to engaging systemic racism strategically rather than reactively and incrementally. Or as Canon Woodley put it…
“Spurred on by the death of George Floyd, the demonstrations in Brooklyn, throughout Long Island, and around the world, our diocese came to realize that unless and until we can develop a clear understanding of how systemic racism works in daily lived reality in our neighborhoods, we’ll just keep throwing money at it and trying tactical changes.
This kind of learning, seeing the “red lines” and visually experiencing the specific impacts of underfunded schools, predatory lending, and other embedded structural problems helps us move past the divisions and into relationship. Seeing where our people live, move, and what limits their being, is powerful and can lead us into authentic transformative action as a whole Diocese moving towards wholeness.”[Read more…]