The Anti-Racism Collaborative (ARC) is a newly constituted group of Friends from across the Yearly meeting committed to connecting support and resources among meetings:
- to learn how Friends are facing the challenge of becoming anti-racist,
- to help meetings share their wisdom and worries about anti-racism work and
- to support meetings who are moving to become anti-racist communities.
We all have access to resources: books and blogs with stories to learn from; ideas for learning in groups; ongoing activities to be engaged with, and ways to engage groups who want to get involved with the work of equity and justice. ARC can help to connect and to share resources already in use across the yearly meeting, and ARC members are committing to learning more best practices to sharing what we know most effectively.
Wherever you may be on your journey toward enhancing equity and justice, members of the collaborative seek for all of us us to join together in this work.
As Friends, we seem to have a heightened aversion to, or fear of, the shadow side—those parts that we’d rather not see. We like to focus on the light as if there is no shadow, and I understand. This is not an unnatural desire. There is a belief operating there that says that if those things in the shadow were allowed to be seen, talked about, and acknowledged that we would surely die. I like to say that we want to be the underground railroad Quakers, but not acknowledge that we were also the Quakers who required African Americans to sit on separate benches during meeting for worship. So we have this fear that we would die if the whole truth were brought to light. There is some truth here. If we truly acknowledge those parts that we deny—that may be our shame, our sorrow, our greatest fears—there will be death. And primarily I focus on the death of the illusion!— Niyonu Spann, Letting Go of Illusion, Engaging Truth: Healing!, Michener Lecture, SEYM 2007