Southeast Conference Board of Directors Statement Against Racial Hatred and Violence

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As representatives of the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ, we officially and unequivocally condemn all racial hatred and racial violence, specifically its manifestation in the recent spate of racially charged police killings around the nation, including that of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Black trans man Tony McDade. We also condemn the troubling number of White vigilante killings becoming so common here in the Southeast under “Stand Your Ground” laws, such as the recent murder of Ahmaud Arbery. We stand in full solidarity with communities of color in the face of such violence.

We are fundamentally opposed to systemic racism and inequity at every level of our society. We affirm the testimony of Scripture which makes clear that all people are created in the likeness and image of God. We further insist that racial hatred is inconsistent with the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and that we are called to stand and speak boldly against all hate, bias and brutality as members of the Body of Christ. We condemn not only the heinous killings of late, but also the contemporary and historical animus that drives this evil. We acknowledge the history of racial terror, hatred, criminalization, and commodification of Black and Brown bodies (in particular) in our nation, which undergirds this current systemic violence. We stand vehemently opposed to these affronts against human equality.

Relieved and encouraged that the officers involved in Floyd’s killing have been charged with crimes, we desire to see continued accountability for all officers of the law who would so egregiously abuse the power and responsibility of their positions.

Despite the growing din of voices propagating the lies of ethnocentrism, xenophobia, White supremacy, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia here in the United States and abroad, we commit to the biblical truths that all people are loved and precious in God’s sight and that Christ has broken down the dividing walls of separation between us. In Christ’s name, we are committed to speaking and acting with boldness for justice for all, as champions of God’s Beloved Community here in the American Southeast.

Southeast Conference Board of Directors: Rev. J.R Finney (Moderator), Heith Battles, Rev. Jennifer Crane Crenshaw, Rev. Ginnie Ferrell, Rev. James Bowman Harris, Penny Hensley, Holly Kendal, Rev. Bennie Liggins, Hannah Mays, Rev. Ann Michelle Rogers-Brigham, Juanita Simmons, Rev. Raymonda Speller, Gavin Warren, Ugena Whitlock