THE RACE & CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
Imagine Christians continuing Christ's reconciling work by collaborating across racial lines to foster shalom between individuals, communities, and systems damaged by racism. RCCI works toward this vision by equipping Christians in Greater Boston to engage issues of race in ways that honor the image of God in all people and nurture the righteousness and justice Jesus desires for our communities.
In doing so, we aim to strengthen and give shape to a missional community of Christians who are committed to racial reconciliation. We envision this community as a place that develops strategic relationships, offers support, and shares resources for growth and action.
At present, the initial focus of RCCI is to equip White evangelicals for the work of racial reconciliation. We recognize the role and responsibility of White people to do self-work in becoming more effective agents of biblical racial reconciliation. As staff capacity and experiences grow, we will expand the services of RCCI to directly engage Christians of other races.
Check out the video footage from our ministry launch party to get a feel for RCCI and the energy surrounding God’s work of racial healing in Boston…
Racism in Boston
Racism is deeply entrenched in Boston's past and present, contribute to gaping disparities across racial lines:
In 2015, the median net worth for White families in the Boston area ($247,500) towered over that of Hispanic ($3,020 for Puerto Ricans, $2,700 for other Hispanics) and Black families ($12,000 for “Caribbean Blacks” and $8 for “U.S. Blacks”).
In 2014, Asian American individuals in Boston were more than 2 times as likely to find themselves in poverty and over 4 times as likely to not have a high school diploma compared to their White counterparts.
In the “minority-majority” city of Boston, 43.5% of White people live in census tracts that are 90 percent or more White and have a median income of four times the poverty level.
In 1983, just 4.5 percent of Black workers in Greater Boston were officials and managers. By 2015, that number has increased by only 0.1 percent.
Learn more about the profound impact racism has on our city by reading
the Globe's Spotlight Series on racism in Boston.
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Our Initial Focus: Racial Education for White Evangelicals
Racial disparities and tensions divide our communities. The Church is called to be a source of healing and transformation.
However, White evangelicals often find themselves unaware of racial realities and unsure of how to engage in a Christ-like way in issues pertaining to race. When we try to reach across racial lines, even well-intentioned White evangelicals can do things that are not well received by communities of color. We can end up building, not removing, the walls between us.
Many White evangelicals have work to do to prepare themselves to engage issues of race in ways that are respectful, responsible, and empowering to communities of color. We need to develop the knowledge, skills, and posture to be engaged and effective members of a reconciled and reconciling community.
RCCI equips White evangelicals to reflect and learn within their own community so we can more effectively participate in Christ’s reconciling work (Eph. 2:11-21) across racial lines. Because each ministry is on a different journey toward biblical reconciliation based on their context and goals, we work with them to create a customized road map for learning and action. With the guidance and accountability of people of color, we provide tools, resources, and ongoing support for genuine growth:
Educate: RCCI helps ministries develop their biblical understanding and practice of racial reconciliation as part of God's work to transform individuals, communities, and social systems.
Coach: RCCI helps ministries develop strategic next steps in their journey toward biblical racial reconciliation. We provide support, resources, processes and accountability to help churches meet their race-related goals.
Convene: RCCI facilitates gatherings within and between communities that model authentic listening and dialogue for changes in heart, perspective, and action.
Connect: RCCI nurtures relationships between leaders and ministries to create spaces for learning and collaboration.
Through these means we aim to nurture and give shape to a missional community: a community of Christians committed to working together towards racial reconciliation.
Options for Learning with Us
Workshops: RCCI offers an introductory workshop series designed to help people better understand racism and how to respond to it as followers of Jesus.
Inter-Ministry Cohort: As an individual, join an EGC-hosted inter-ministry cohort where you can grow with other White people shaped by the evangelical tradition and receive support to apply what you are learning in your spheres of influence. Click here for more information.
Church & Ministry Partnerships: As a group, receive services that focus on your unique ministry context and how you can move forward in community.
Support & Accountability Group: RCCI offers a group for White people who have been shaped by the evangelical tradition and desire to receive support and accountability to take action to contribute to the dismantling of racism.