Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission

Racial Justice and

Reconciliation Commission

The Racial Justice and Reconciliation Commission (RJRC) was formed in the spring of 2016 at the behest of Bishop Provenzano. When announcing the formation of the commission at the 149th Diocesan Convention, Bishop Provenzano said,“It is my plan to convene a committee to address issues of racial and ethnic reconciliation partly in compliance with the directives of our General Convention and partly in recognition of our desire to finally address the plank in our own eye, before offering to remove the speck in the eye of our brothers and sisters in the communities we serve.”

Following the 150th Convention at which the RJRC presented their work and began a discussion about racism with the attendees, Bishop Provenzano sent out a Pastoral Letter requiring that parishes in the diocese begin a conversation about racism and its effects on their parishes, families, and wider communities. The Pastoral Letter was accompanied by a "toolkit", which includes the resources available here on the website. If you would like to print out a PDF copy of the Toolkit, click here.

The RJRC welcomes feedback and is actively seeking volunteers interested in conducting research, promoting the work of the commission, and serving as liaisons between the commission and the wider community. If you are interested in any of these roles or would like to be included in updates from the commission, send an email to: racialjustice@dioceseli.org

Covenanting Principles

The commission acknowledges that racism is a system of domination and believes that justice and reconciliation can be achieved through conversation and prayer, education, engagement and action.

This commission is focused on eradicating racism in its many forms within institutions, communities and in individuals through supportive interactions and transformative programs that can be implemented throughout the diocese and specifically through local congregations. 

 The commission's recommendations will be shaped and informed by the work and voices of clergy, lay leaders, and parishioners within the diocese, by other ecumenical and interfaith partners, and by experts and leaders in the educational, political and social service sectors.

With the wholehearted support and encouragement of the bishop, and with input from all members of the Diocese of Long Island, the commission will strive to influence and propel public and personal actions that help identify and eradicate the root causes of structural racism and to foster supportive relationships, conditions and programs that bring about justice and repair.

RJRC Definition of "Racial Justice"

As followers of Jesus, we have vowed in our Baptismal Covenant to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. 

In that light, we define Racial Justice as the systemic equalization of power, opportunities, and access for people of all races.

We believe that all people should be equally seen, heard, valued and respected.

We seek to increase the ability of people of color to determine and sustain a more equitable future for themselves and their communities.