In Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, we engage the Church in its mission to become more diverse and inclusive of racial, ethnic, cultural and language groups, and we equip women for leadership in all ministries of the Church. We are blessed to see a vision of Pentecost every day. There are Presbyterian Mission Agency offices supporting, African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino-a, Korean, Middle Eastern and Native American emerging ministries. The racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities that we support regularly gather together, constructing a racial ethnic identity that stems from a common history, heritage and language. We work closely with racial ethnic and new immigrant worshiping communities through mid councils, caucus groups, and networks, engaging in the mission to grow, transform, empower, lead and develop communities. We create an awareness of institutional racism in the church and an environment where racial ethnic persons, new immigrants, and women can serve fully in ministry and leadership.
In our ministries we work to achieve gender and racial justice and equip racial ethnic women, men and young adults for leadership. We assist college-age and racial ethnic young women in their faith journeys and foster networks of support for them.
As we discover how to share the gospel in an increasingly diverse culture, we have a greater chance of living out the Biblical vision of a world where the humanity of everyone is valued and where God’s love is spread to every race, class, culture and people.
2018 Theme: Clergywomen Who Challenge Racism and Injustice
Basis for the Theme: Many of us are blessed to know clergywomen who have been advocates for racial and intercultural justice, with a respectful awareness and appreciation for each other’s different races, ethnicities, cultures and languages. At the Women of Faith breakfast, we will show gratitude and recognize clergywomen who are “woke” and who challenge systemic racism and oppression.
Purpose of award: This award recognizes clergywomen who challenge racism and injustice.
DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE — January 2018
Using Intersectional Tools to Fight Oppression
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God”
— Ephesians 2:19
The January issue of Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries E-newsletter focuses on Intersectionality as a resource to fight oppression. The connecting of multiple social identifications, such as race, class, gender and gender identity, produces coinciding systems of disadvantage which intensifies the effects of racism, classism, sexism, gender identity discrimination and other forms of oppression. Dr. Nancy Ramsay is the Professor of Pastoral Theology at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas and she is currently writing about intersectionality. Following are some of her reflections from a recent cultural humility training held at a Presbyterian Mission Agency Board meeting:
Intersectionality, 21st century colonialism
Colonialism, the cornerstone of intersectionality
By Gail Strange | Presbyterian News Service
New words are added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary on a regular basis. Often times these are words that we hear and are not quite sure of their meaning. “Intersectionality” is one of those words.
Officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in April of 2017, the word intersectionality, according to Webster, has been around since the late 1980s and is used to refer to the complex and cumulative way that the effects of different forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism and classism) combine, overlap, and yes, intersect — especially in the experiences of marginalized people or groups.
The term, intersectionality was first used by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in a 1989 article. in which she proposed the term intersectionality to address the inadequacy of any single-factor focus such as race or gender to address the complex discrimination that black women experienced due to the intersections of sexism, racism, and classism. . Crenshaw writes, “Because the intersectional experience is greater than the sum of racism and sexism, any analysis that does not take intersectionality into account cannot sufficiently address the particular manner in which Black women are subordinated.”
While originally applied to the ways that sexism, racism, and classism combine and overlap, intersectionality has come to include other forms of discrimination as well, such as those based on sexuality and ability for all. However, before the term intersectionality existed, “colonialism” and its consequences played a key role in the development of the factors that created a need to describe the circumstances of intersectionality.
In a presentation at a recent Presbyterian Mission Agency board meeting, Nancy Ramsay, Presbyterian Mission Agency board member and professor of pastoral theology at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas and Rhashell Hunter, director of the Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, presented “Itersectionality: A Resource for the Continuing Reverberations of Colonialism.”
In her presentation Ramsay identified components of colonialism that gave rise to the problems intersectionality addresses. She referred to Colonialism as a three-legged stool standing on 1) the fiction of race, 2) the practice of racism, leading to the commodification of people… their conquest, subjugation and genocide and chattel slavery, resulting in relations shaped by mastery over rather than mutuality as neighbors), and 3) the incipient patriarchal capitalism in the mid-15th century.
Ramsay said that colonialism began with the blessing of the mid-15th century Church under the leadership of Pope Nicolas V. Citing the 15th century papal Doctrine of Discovery as authorizing colonial imperialism. She pointed out the Church used the name of Jesus while being complicit in the greed of future empires and entangling God in those empires.
Ramsay’s comments are drawn from a chapter in a forthcoming book she edited, titled , Pastoral Theology and Care: Critical Trajectories in Theory and Practice (Wiley Blackwell, 2018)
Rhashell D. Hunter
Read the Racial Ethnic Torch
In the current issue of the Racial Ethnic Torch, we lift up the work that Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a whole, is doing to shine a light on diversity and reconciliation. Some of the articles featured in this issue include:
- The dismantling of immigrant & refugee families
- PC(USA) leaders issue apology to Native Americans, Alaska natives and native Hawaiians
- Hands & Feet mission initiative leads up to 223rd General Assembly (2018)