Purpose: To contribute to the building of “The Beloved Community” by engaging people from all sectors, including the faith community, to cross racial and cultural barriers, thereby fostering improved race and multicultural relations in Huntsville and Madison County.
* Become a “go-to” catalyst among congregations and community leaders for researching, recognizing, naming, addressing and improving race and multicultural relations in Huntsville/Madison County
* Increase interaction and involvement between the faith community and government, education, civic and business leaders, increasing the numbers of group interfaces cross-culturally and between congregations
* Celebrate and encourage best practices in congregations with regard to race and human relations
* Advocate for racial, economic and social equity in civic life, business, home ownership, employment and education
* Work cooperatively to develop growth in interpersonal relationships and friendships, thereby increasing “social capital” across racial and economic boundaries throughout our community
1. Build a community coalition to plan a major 2009 Conference on Race and Justice. [Accomplished; See website here]
2. Work with the Human Relations Commission and other community organization to provide leadership to the Multicultural Project to bring about a city-wide Office and Officer that provides the collaborative structures and programs to advance Huntsville into a world-friendly, racially and culturally inclusive city. [Accomplished]
IN SUPPORT OF THESE TWO PRIORITIES WE WILL:
1. Work with area congregations, encouraging and equipping them to carry out Race Relations Congregational Exchange Programs.
2. Strengthen the data base of inter-congregational and inter-racial projects and exchanges within and among congregations. These include pulpit and choir exchanges, educational and training programs, service projects, and fellowship and spiritual life events and programs.
3. Track and interpret the community’s racial landscape, continuing with our two ongoing action/research projects:
* Race Relations Progress Indicators Report
* Racial Indicators on Disparities
* Increase public awareness of our work, including feeding to local media ideas and stories that address “race relations” angles. This includes seeking opportunities to release and interpret research on both gaps and disparities as well as efforts to close the gaps.
4. Communicate opportunities to “bear witness” in the public sphere: events will arise for people to act (presence at events, protests, letters, etc.) as they “bear witness” to both racial injustice and to racial reconciliation