Race & Equity

Race & Equity

"So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

- Galatians 3:26-28

An Open Letter on Racism from Alliance District and Association Leaders

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

- Micah 6:8 (NIV)

The sins of racism and injustice have plagued our nation since its inception. Sadly, we have even witnessed its effects and damage throughout the history of the Church. The devastating loss of lives in the Black community in recent weeks, including the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, has reminded us that injustice still runs rampant in our nation, still strips the Black community of dignity, and still attacks the beauty of the image of God in all humanity. Add to these incidents, the unjust harassment of Christian Cooper while he was birdwatching in Central Park and the killing of Breonna Taylor under suspicious circumstances.

We, the district superintendents and association presidents of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, who give oversight to Alliance churches and ethnic associations in the United States, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, and Guam, and who function in this movement under the oversight of the vice president for Church Ministries, formally denounce racism, injustice, and any and all systems and actions of any group and/or laws that seek to make themselves racially and/or ethnically superior over any other group of people, including Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. We stand in staunchest opposition to groups that promote white supremacy, anti-Semitism, and others that avow discrimination and segregation of any kind.

Further, we denounce any acts of violence, oppression, or discrimination in any form against any and all people groups that have been marginalized, oppressed, and/or treated as less than human because of their race, background, or socioeconomic status. As a multiethnic, multicultural, diverse movement, whose founder affirmed the humanity and dignity of all people, we declare today that we will not tolerate any acts of racism and/or injustice that we become aware of in any of the districts and/or associations that we oversee.

We repent of any acts of racism and/or injustice—past or present—that have taken place in any of our districts and/or associations, be they overt or covert. We break off any demonic strongholds that have resulted and remain because of these acts. And, we welcome a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to cleanse our districts and associations and bring a fresh anointing upon each and every one of us, as we declare that we will honor, celebrate, and promote the beauty of the image of God in all of humanity.

It is not just sinful for racism and injustice to exist in our country and/or churches. The Church stands complicit by sitting silent when racism and injustice run rampant in our nation. It is, therefore, the call and the responsibility of the Church to lead the charge in speaking against any and all acts of racism and/or injustice. We stand firm in urging every church of The Christian and Missionary Alliance that falls under our charge to proclaim salvation through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross, to announce His Kingdom of righteousness and justice, to denounce all forms of racism and injustice, and seek to be the voice of change in our communities, where the poor, the oppressed, the marginalized, the outcast, and those who have been the victims of any form of racism or injustice in our communities can find refuge, hope, dignity, and love.

As we have just celebrated Pentecost Sunday, the day on which the Holy Spirit was poured out on the early followers of Jesus, we recognize that Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled. In the fulfillment of that prophecy, we also see that the Holy Spirit anointed and blessed the beauty of the diversity of the Kingdom of God. Further, as the early Church grew, so did the diversity of the Church. As a result, we celebrate the beauty in the diversity of God’s Kingdom!

Finally, to the members and adherents of our movement that comprise the Black community, we say today that we lament with you. We are listening to you. We seek to be agents of change with you. And we stand alongside of you. Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.

In the love of Jesus,

The District Superintendents and Association Presidents of The Christian and Missionary Alliance

 

Han Young Baek, District Superintendent, Korean District Héctor Belén Jr., District Superintendent, Spanish Central District Scott R. Borderud, District Superintendent, Southwestern District Jeffrey P. Brown, District Superintendent, Western Great Lakes District Harris W. Campbell, Interim District Superintendent, Southeastern District Lorenzo M. Collado Jr., President, Association of Filipino Churches Douglas G. Conley, District Superintendent, Mid-Atlantic District Jorge Cuevas, District Superintendent, Spanish Eastern District Sarkis A. Diarbi, President, Arabic-Speaking Association Thomas R. Flanders, District Superintendent, New England District Thomas George, District Superintendent, Great Lakes District Siyum Gebretsadik, President, Association of African Churches Javier Gómez Marrero, District Superintendent, Puerto Rico District Philip H. Hagar, District Superintendent, Southern District Marc S. Horace, President, Haitian Association Nathan D. Howard, District Superintendent, Eastern PA District Mony Khiev, District Superintendent, Cambodian District Thach V. Le, District Superintendent, Vietnamese District Héctor F. Lecaro, President, Spanish Western Association David B. Linn, District Superintendent, Northeastern District William W. Malick, District Superintendent, South Pacific District Jeffrey A. Miller, District Superintendent, Central District Ronald J. Morrison, President, African-American Pastors, Consecrated Women, and Licensed Workers Association David A. Nagel, District Superintendent, Western PA District Michael D. Noel, District Superintendent, South Atlantic District Dennis D. Pust, Interim District Superintendent, Alliance Northwest District Jonathan W. Rich, District Superintendent, Midwest District Mark R. Searing, District Superintendent, Ohio Valley District Daniel J. Scarrow, District Superintendent, North Central District Hendy Siu, President, Association of Montagnard Churches J. Wayne Spriggs, District Superintendent, Central Pacific District Robert W. Storey, District Superintendent, MidAmerica District Lantzia C. Thao, District Superintendent, Hmong District Kelvin L. Walker, District Superintendent, Metropolitan District Jonathan A. Wiggins, District Superintendent, Rocky Mountain District Zane M. Williams, President, Native American Association Kok C. Wong, President, Chinese Churches Association

REAL - Racial Equity Adaptive Leadership

The Race & Equity Collective at SVA is currently participating in a 10-month training workshop called the REAL Framework. This course was co-created by Dr. Nikum Pon & Dr. Marion Smith, Jr. Dr. Pon has volunteered his time to lead the R&E Collective through this time of education and action.

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Dr. Nikum Pon, PHD

About Nikum Pon, PhD

Dr. Nikum Pon has dedicated the last 22 years of his life working with a wide range of students and their families in racially, linguistically, and culturally diverse communities in predominantly low-income settings in the greater Seattle area. He spent nine of those years at SafeFutures Youth Center, a grassroots community/youth development agency that serves predominantly low-income Southeast Asians and East African youth and families.

Nikum held a position as the Director of Equity in Education for the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD). In this position, he and his team support King and Pierce county school districts toward systems transformation to ensure academic excellence for each and every student, which upholds the PSESD’s mission to ensure success for each child and eliminate the opportunity gap by leading with racial equity.

Currently, he is the Chief Research & Evaluation Strategist for Educate to Liberate Consulting (E2LC). E2LC is a learning-focused consulting group founded, led, and operated by men of color scholar-practitioners who apply critical pedagogy, adaptive leadership, systems thinking, and anti-racist practices to work with individuals, organizations, and communities to engage, to educate, and to liberate within the context of K-12 education, post-secondary institutions, and the business/industry sector. E2LC works with organizations, businesses, institutions, education communities, and individuals to tailor our work to your needs.

Nikum’s academic preparation includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Cell Molecular Biology and Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Psychology and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, and Master’s Degree in Education from Seattle Pacific University. Nikum is a life-long learner as he continues to find ways to deepen his learning as a systems thinker, leader, and critical race theorist.

Members of the R&E Collective Include:

Ollan Ragasa

Ollan Ragasa

Associate Pastor Operations & Online Campus
Emily Ridout

Emily Ridout

Associate Pastor of Local & Global Outreach
Liam Wright

Liam Wright

Associate Pastor of Worship Arts
Susan Chavez

Susan Chavez

Executive Pastor
Baly Botten

Baly Botton

Teaching & Youth Pastor
Robert Neal

Robert Neal

Dwight Smith

Dwight Smith

Pastor Emily Interview

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