REA Statement on the Murder of George Floyd

[This statement was issued on June 4, 2020. It is also available as a PDF document.]

REA Statement on the Murder of George Floyd
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
May 25, 2020

The Religious Education Association condemns the killings of Black men, women, and children in the United States of America by police and vigilantes. We condemn the white supremacy and the anti-Blackness that took seed at the earliest formations of this nation. We condemn the police killings, brutality, and weaponizing of whiteness, white privilege, and power we have seen in U.S neighborhoods, on campuses, and streets. The taking of Black lives must stop.

As an international association of religious educators, we are committed to education as a beacon of action and power to change the world. As teachers, we have witnessed this transformational power. We know and believe that faith and education together can change people and bring about justice. We know there is power in faith and education to dismantle systemic and structural racism. We know there is power in faith and education to help us reimagine a new world. A world in which we know, see, and treat everyone as made in the image of the divine.

We are in solidarity with Black scholars and their communities in our midst. We have a responsibility to speak and act. The leadership, scholarship, and lives of incredible Black men and women have shaped our guild from the inside out. We ask our members to look inward at the ways some of us have been complicit through actions and silence. We ask our members to take inventory of the ways some of us have weaponized whiteness and put the burden on the most vulnerable to teach the real histories and racist realities.

We ask our members around the world to attend to Black religious educators’ and Black students’ voices, lives, and work. This is one way out of many that we can work together to actively dismantle the anti-Black racism rooted in the institutions where we teach, lead, and serve. Internalize and amplify the scholarship of our Black colleagues and mentors. Cite them and make space for them. Teach, share, and center their work.

As an association, we acknowledge that we have more work to do. We commit to striving for change with courage. We commit to dedicating our collective work to purging the white supremacy and anti-Blackness within us and outside of us.

We invite our global membership to join us in reading and saying the names of the Black men and women murdered by the hatred that gave rise to white supremacy and its agents. We bear witness. We remember, and we rage at their loss. Black Lives Matter.

Say their names:

…and the countless names and stories we will never know.

Signed June 4, 2020,

Committee on Religious Education in Public Life and the Global Community

Christine Hong

Lakisha Lockhart

Michael Shire

Board of Directors, Religious Education Association

Hanan Alexander
Boyung Lee
Kathy Winings
Patrick Reyes
Tony Vrame
Jos De Kock

Christine Hong
José Irizarry
Denise Janssen
Hosffman Ospino
Gina Robinson
Sarah Tauber
Almeda Wright

Mary Hess (ex officio)
Lucinda Huffaker (ex officio)
Joyce Mercer (ex officio)

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