About the RJUC
The Racial Justice and Unity Center (RJUC) is in the process of being formed. The purpose of the center is to help Christians practice biblical, racial justice and unity. The first major initiative of the center is the Race, Religion, and Justice Project (RRJP). You're welcome to browse this "under construction" website to learn about the center and the projects we are working on. Please join our newsletter list to be notified about new developments and resources.
Questions and Answers
Focusing on justice and unity for other types of diversity is important. But, we are narrowing our focus to racial diversity because of the complex history and dynamics associated with race relations in U.S. Christian organizations. Narrowing our focus to race enables us to study/address the dynamics more effectively then we could if we focused on many types of diversity.
We recognize the reality of intersectionality--areas of injustice and division combine, overlap, and intersect in ways that make it difficult to study them independently. Each person has a unique combination of identities (race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, age, wealth, etc.) that cannot be fully understood independently. But we also recognize the challenges of attempting to study/address all types of diversity simultaneously. Therefore we primarily focus on one type of diversity (race). Studying ways racial diversity intersects with other types of diversity are a part of our efforts, but not our primary emphasis.
Many Christian leaders want to help promote positive, biblical change in regard to racial justice and unity, but they are not sure how they can be a part of the solution. Other leaders are trying to build multiracial organizations using ineffective approaches that lead to lack of progress, discouragement, and hurt individuals.
- A lack of emphasis on how the sin of racism operates in personal and systemic ways.
- Focusing on achieving a measure of statistical diversity (e.g. less than 80% of one race/ethnicity) rather than building a healthy, multiracial climate.
- Requiring individuals to assimilate or code switch to the norms and preferences of the dominant racial group in order to stay involved, take on leadership roles, become employees, etc.
- An inability or unwillingness to address difficult/emotional topics (e.g. unconscious bias, white privilege, centering of white voices/norms, unhealthy power dynamics, etc.)
- Scripture: The Bible is filled with passages focused on racism/prejudice, justice, inclusion, relational barriers, systemic barriers, power dynamics, etc.
- Life and teachings of Jesus: The life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Christ defines, motivates, and empowers our efforts to destroy the power of sin and promote inclusion (Eph 2).
- The leading of the Holy Spirit: We recognize that the enormous historical, sociological, and spiritual barriers that exist in regard to race in the U.S. cannot be overcome without God's help.
- Input: We gather the input of a wide range of leaders and experts through our Collaboration Team and other methods. We especially seek to listen to the perspectives of individuals in racial groups that are typically marginalized or underrepresented.
- Related resources: A growing number of excellent resources (research, books, articles, training programs, etc.) are available on racial justice and unity. We utilize those resources whenever possible.