Friends General Conference

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From the Providence Meeting Working Group on Privilege and Race

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The Working Group on Privilege and Racism has met several times now and looks forward to working with members of Providence Monthly Meeting as we live into the charge raised by Friends at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. That charge includes inviting Quakers to confront racism, examine privilege, and live into greater communion with Friends and neighbors.

At a meeting of All Clerks, we felt encouragement to move forward. At the same time, we are deeply aware of the need for rigorous self reflection and loving caution. To this end:

We understand and appreciate that members and attenders may have different levels of comfort for working on these issues;

We understand and appreciate that members and attenders may choose to explore these issues at the level of the small group, at the level of the Meeting, or in concert with other organizations outside of Meeting;

We understand and appreciate that members and attenders may be led to devote their energies to other endeavors that they consider central to realizing their sense of enacting justice in the world.

Keeping these things in mind and on our hearts, we encourage the various committees of Providence Meeting to decide how best to focus the attention of our membership on these important issues. We look forward to sharing with the Meeting some principles that might guide our work as well as a few suggestions for communication that might facilitate that work to minimize acrimony, offer us the gift of authentic exchange, and lift up love and humor.

Regardless of the form it takes, we hope to continue to serve as an advisory group, clearness committee or sounding board--offering our experiences and training as resources and in concert with other Friends--as the members and attenders at Providence Monthly Meeting move into greater commitment to achieve beloved community and social justice.

In peace and friendship,

Sarah Willie-LeBreton, Deb Will, Pauline Guerin, Laura Boyce, and Mary Gabel