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October 4, 2016
Once again, and with heavy hearts, in light of the continued violence being perpetrated on Black people by state-sanctioned policing policies, the board members of BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz feel compelled to speak out, to cry out in solidarity with the families and communities of Tyre King in Columbus, Ohio, Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, we hold space for the grief and anger that are spilling from our hearts into the streets of Charlotte, the city that houses the main office of our organization.
As an organization committed to peace rooted in justice, BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz has worked for many years to uncover systems of injustice in our midst. At this moment in history, we are called as people of faith to work against racial injustice in all its forms. Specifically, we are called to condemn the epidemic of police violence against Black and Brown people in the United States.
As members of BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz, our calls for justice are rooted in the witness of Jesus Christ, and his message of liberation and reconciliation. We know from experience that following Jesus in the path of peace rooted in justice calls us to risk, to sacrifice and sometimes to make challenging choices in our daily lives. We embrace this reality. And as an historically white organization, we strive to offer timely resources for our white members to learn and grow in an understanding of how they can be in solidarity with people of color.
To our white members — we invite you to join the Movement for Black Lives. We encourage you to grow in community, discerning with members of your congregation and this fellowship how you can take a stand for the sanctity of Black lives. We encourage you to explore the resources below as you answer this call to end racial injustice in all its forms.
At the time of the Ferguson Uprising, The Catalyst Project in the Bay Area compiled a set of resources that are, sadly, still relevant. We share them here as a tool to help you get started thinking about what you, and we, can do to end the police killing of Black people, and build a just world. Ann Brayden, the founder of the Catalyst Project, was a tireless advocate for racial justice.
The curricula for Engaging White People for this Movement Moment is particularly applicable at this time and is a very accessible resource.
An immediate way to offer support individually is to donate to organizations in the places where these killings happened — support people as they demand accountability.
BPFNA’s Centering Black Lives Working Group has compiled this list of action items on how people can work toward centering Black lives in their own communities.
We as an organization have been offering and will continue to offer resources, trainings, and opportunities for all our members to deepen understanding and commitment — and we pledge to be active supporters to our members as they live out this call in their own lives and their own congregations and communities.
— Amaury Tañón-Santos, president
on behlaf of the BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz board of directors