Van City & Racial Justice
In Jesus, we see a God who experiences anger at the evil in our world, who establishes justice and righteousness, and who works on behalf of the oppressed. We also see in Jesus a God who listens intently, grieves deeply and weeps. As apprentices of Jesus, we follow his example.
The role of God’s people is to stand in solidarity with the historically disenfranchised, to plead the case of the oppressed, to do righteousness and justice for those victimized by evil systems of institutionalized violence.
We recognize in the Empire of America centuries of oppression and racism both personal and systemic. White disciples of Jesus have long been complicit in participating in and benefiting from systems designed by white people to work for white people. In a cultural norm of willful ignorance and denial, it is our hope to walk in repentance and reconciliation—to stand with and for the marginalized and oppressed in the name of Jesus.
Give To Organizations Making Change
NAACP: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) exists to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
Equal Justice Initiative: Challenges excessive punishment in court, advocates for parole, provides re-entry support, and advances systemic reform through research, education, and narrative work.
Be the Bridge: Works to empower people and culture toward racial healing, equity, and reconciliation. We encourage you to spend some time exploring all their content, as there are many more great resources there.
HOLLA: Mentors who exist to empower Black and Brown youth in Portland, representing and learning alongside them because the time for Black and Brown leaders is now.
African Family Holistic Health Organization: Created in 2014 in part by Portland’s Swahili-speaking, community health workers seeking to improve their community’s health through peer health education and increased access to health resources.
Know Me Now: Aims to reduce prison-return rates in Oregon by building family-centric support systems that empower the transitioning person’s right to change, grow, and enhance their legacy.
Resources for the Journey
Listening and learning are crucial in the journey of racial reconciliation and healing. Below is a non-exauhstive list of resources to begin and/or continue the journey of learning.