C009 Mandates Anti-Racism & Racial Reconciliation Training for the House of Deputies

At the 73rd General Convention in Denver 2000, Resolution 2000-B049 (https://www.episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts/acts_resolution.pl?resolution=2000-B049) required  “lay and ordained leadership of the Episcopal Church, including all ordained persons, professional staff, and those elected or appointed to positions of leadership on committees, commissions, agencies, and boards be required to take anti-racism training and receive certification of such training” and “that each diocese select and authorize appropriate programs that will be used at the diocesan and parochial levels, each province and diocese to determine those lay and clergy leaders who are to take the training.”

The Episcopal Church builds on the framework of Becoming Beloved Community (https://episcopalchurch.org/beloved-community) created in response to General Convention Resolution 2015-C019 - Work for Racial Justice and Reconciliation (https://www.episcopalarchives.org/cgi-bin/acts/acts_resolution.pl?resolution=2015-C019).  This established response to Systematic Racial Injustice enhances the capacity of The Episcopal Church to work in communities to organize; advocate; and dismantle systems, policies and practices that reinforce violence and acts and perpetuate the sin of racism.

Many of our Dioceses require Anti-Racism training for those serving on Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, Secretary of Convention, Treasurer, and other diocesan bodies.  In the Diocese of California, the General Convention Deputies and Alternates also adhere to this training standard.  Since GC 2012, the General Convention’s Joint Standing Committee on Nominations began tracking the Anti-Racism training requirement for churchwide leadership (Church Pension Fund Trustee, Disciplinary Board for Bishops, Executive Council, General Board of Examining Chaplains, General Theological Seminary Trustee, and the Officers of General Convention). These reports illustrate a trend towards compliance from 76% (GC 2012), 84% (GC 2015), and 85% (GC 2018). 

During General Convention the House of Deputies experiences a 45% turnover of new deputies (GC2015-GC2015 – 398: https://houseofdeputies.org/2015/08/04/demographics-house-deputies/; GC2018-364: https://houseofdeputies.org/2018/07/03/demographics-of-the-house-of-deputies-at-gc79/) each triennium.  With no canonical training mandates for both clergy and lay Deputies, establishing canonical standards would be beneficial to new Deputies. First and Second time Deputies comprise 67%, and thus, have significant impact on legislative, budgetary, and election matters. 

The requisite Anti-Racism training is the foundation coursework for all churchwide leaders.  We are affirming that Deputies from each Diocese achieve this minimum standard.  For each subsequent cycle, we are proposing ongoing Racial Reconciliation training programs every three years as new continuing education.  By regularizing the House of Deputies training standards, our hope is new programs like the Anti-Sexism Training (https://extranet.generalconvention.org/governing_and_interim_bodies/interim_bodies/1010/mandate) will be on the horizon.

Funding for trainings would be furnished locally by each Diocese.