Equity represents value. Racial equity upholds the value and dignity of black men, women, and children as its cornerstone to establish the fair treatment, access, and opportunity of all people regardless of their race. Racial equity is built upon achieving racial justice. Our country’s development stems from the violence of white supremacy that began with the genocide of indigenous peoples, and was then institutionalized through the kidnapping, enslavement and exploitation of Africans and people of African descent for more than four centuries.
Within this historical context, the work of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy toward racial equity rests upon dismantling racism by changing policies and practices embedded in contemporary institutions, systems and processes that continue to perpetuate the suffering and harm of people of color in every sector of our society.
SIGN OUR STATEMENT
VICPP has historically used a racial justice lens to shape our policy priorities, and we will continue to do so. In the summer of 2019, however, we moved to explicitly place racial justice in our mission statement in response to the hushed silence. We avowed that to truly achieve racial justice, the Commonwealth must engage in the “uncomfortable” conversations necessary to confront and uproot the historic violence of white supremacy that bleeds into present day criminalization and dehumanization of all people of color.
We envision the transformative framework for achieving racial equity to include:
- Fostering space for faith communities to acknowledge, examine and redress their faith tradition's role in sustaining white supremacy
- Centering the work of the new commission to study slavery and subsequent discrimination as foundational and not relegating it to the sidelines as a discretionary project
- Including indigenous tribes in policy priorities because the legacy of the genocide of Native people is too often obscured
- Establishing and prioritizing restorative justice programs and models throughout the Commonwealth
- Broadening the application of restorative justice principles to a wider, public, collective internal work of truth and reconciliation
View Photo Essay: Sacred Land, Sacred Lives
Three cemeteries of the founding families of the historic Thoroughfare town in Prince William County stand in danger of decimation - from landowners who have bulldozed over cemetery plots, obstructed access, removed Native fieldstones grave markers, and dug trenches around cemetery borders. A year-long fight from Native and Black descendants has grown into a community fight in the form of the Coalition to Save Historic Thoroughfare.
Read Not Just Tulsa 26 Black Massacres in the U.S.
The commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre raised national awareness of white supremacist violence in the U.S. Tulsa was not the only one. Many of these massacres compiled on this list included the widespread destruction of property and near complete exile of Black residents from their community. This list is not comprehensive. Several of them were initially categorized as a race riot, relying on reports that excluded eyewitness testimony of Black survivors.
Watch "Truth & Reconciliation (Genocide in Canada)"
From the establishment of the early Residential Schools to the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this film shines a light on to the cultural genocide that was perpetrated by the Canadian Government and churches towards Canada's Indigenous People.
Take the Make Me an Instrument of Peace free, five-week course
"Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse" provides a foundational tools before engaging in new, difficult, deeper and often uncomfortable conversations.