The GRCC Faith in Action is committed to working for race relations based on equality, respect, and dignity, and to building relationships through which our community can be transformed. Several partnerships currently help promote this work.
United Christian Leadership Ministries of Western New York
Several years ago GRCC began a relationship with UCLM, an ecumenical agency grounded in the Black Church experience that seeks to:
- Coordinate, encourage and train local community leaders to promote and lead programs for social justice, equity, and liberation
- Foster programs to positively impact the Rochester metropolitan region with a focus on family and youth.
- Develop and build collaborative partnerships among local communities and their leaders, with government, business, labor, educational and other institutions to combat racial injustice, social and economic disparity, and to reduce crime and violence.
Over that time, the Rev. Lewis Stewart, President of UCLM, joined the GRCC Board, and several GRCC members have become active participants in UCLM activities, such as:
- Police Body Camera and Civilian Review Board initiatives
- Light the Way – Gun Violence campaign
- Get Out the Vote efforts
- UCLM’s Martin Luther King Conference – Finding Solutions: Community Healing, Restoration and Justice
- UCLM’s Martin Luther King Worship Celebration: Celebrating Freedom, Achieving Justice
Greater Rochester Police-Community Relations Summits
This unique initiative evolved out of the desire to work toward improving transparency and communication between law enforcement and local community groups. Using the Final Report on the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing as a guide, a planning committee consisting of law enforcement, clergy, and community leaders, including many GRCC leaders, set out to organize a dialogue between the two groups focused on Building Trust and Legitimacy, described as the First Pillar in the President’s Report. Several city-wide summits have been held each receiving positive feedback from participants, and more are being planned. Each has a focus on continuing the work to understand the divisions, issues and areas of concern between communities of color and law enforcement and identifying some strategies that address the question – How do we bridge the gap?
Racism and White Privilege 101
Led by Interim Executive Director Rev. Alan Dailey and former GRCC Board President Rev. William Wilkinson, this workshop seeks to bring awareness about the effects of systemic racism on all people regardless of the color of their skin and to explore how white privilege, fragility, and supremacy undergird our society, systems, and attitudes. Alan and William have presented this for several groups, including at the Sisters of St. Joseph in the “Fresh Winds in our Sails” series. Workshop 201 is in the works.