The Issues Working Group of the First Parish Racial Justice Journey invites you to join in the next phase of our explorations.  We shall examine the ways in which systemic and structural racism affect our lives today.

What:  A series of talks, films, discussions, and events continuing from January 13, 2022, into May.

Why:  To enable us to assess and understand the living consequences of enslavement and other forms of racism and to consider possibilities for reform, restoration, and restitution.

Framing the IssuesWe need a framework through which we can analyze the issues.  The concept of equity is a lens through which we can view impacts across a variety of sectors.  With this lens we ask how we can enable those who are disadvantaged to prosper through access to resources and the opportunities to use them.  We have chosen issues based on criteria including opportunities for change, and we will tie them to Lincoln, our immediate neighbors, and the Greater Boston area.

A Key Question:  How have government policies, residential patterns, and political will converged to shape the wealth and resource disparities currently experienced throughout our socio-economic and environmental systems, particularly in terms of

  • wealth creation
  • environmental justice
  • access to health care and resources
  • educational opportunities

We shall focus on selected issues within these areas, recognizing the importance of many others, but reserving them for consideration at another time.  Issues will be presented and considered in ways that include opportunities for action.

Keeping our purpose and criteria in focusTo select the issues that we wish to address, we have referred to the following criteria:

  • Is the issue one which we have the capacity to address?
  • Is the issue of relevance and concern to the members of the First Parish and more broadly to the Lincoln community?
  • Can we make a difference in ourselves and/or the First Parish in Lincoln if we improve our understanding of the sources and implications of this issue?
  • Will this work result in action, both individual and collective, and in partnerships, that can lead to change?

Collaboration:  We believe that collaboration with other groups within FPL, and among organizations in Lincoln, as well as coordination with groups/organizations outside Lincoln are central to our efforts to begin to address the challenges of racial discrimination.

It’s a journey . . .:   We are on a journey, not at the beginning, not at the end, but somewhere in the middle.  As we navigate on our FPL journey from history to issues to action, we recognize we are on a far longer human journey.  We hope to move ourselves and our community closer to the goals of affirming each person’s dignity and assuring justice and fairness for all.

The members of the Issues Working Group are Becca Fasciano, Mary Gaylord, Tom Haslett, Pam Hurd, Peter Hussey, Joan Kimball, Steve Kropper, and Barbara Slayter, Coordinator, working in collaboration with the Racial Justice Associates, chaired by Mary Helen Lorenz.  Please contact us; we welcome your ideas.


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