Race, Equity and Social Justice Committee

Race, Equity and Social Justice Committee

My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you. -John 15:12

Welcome to the Race, Equity, and Social Justice Committee at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension! We are a newly formed committee that convened in these pandemic times in response to the social unrest and clear display of inequities that still permeate our culture and country. Our committee is open to anyone feeling a call to action and a need to do something to rid our nation of all forms of inequity. We encourage you to look at our mission statement below to see what types of actions are of importance to us. We meet via zoom roughly every other Thursday at 7:00 pm and would welcome your interest and input. If you have further questions or concerns, you can contact one of our co-chairs Laurie Yelle at lyelle@aol.com or Richard Chasdi at rchasdi@aol.com.



As our Lord commands and to which we commit in our Baptismal covenant, our mission is to take active and deliberate measures to assure that the inherent dignity of all peoples is acknowledged, respected, and protected. By all peoples, we mean every man, woman, and child of every race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexuality, age, physical ability, religious background, and socioeconomic status under God’s creation. We do not overlook but rather respect and celebrate our differences as God intended. We remember and live into our interconnectedness, knowing that we are only as strong, healthy, happy, and satisfied as the least of our human family. We use our God-given talents to lift up every member of our human family.

We will achieve this through active and deliberate measures such as:

Creating a safe space to discuss inequities within our church and in our community
Moving from an inclusive congregation to a connected congregation where all feel they belong
Encouraging members to use their privilege toward actively eliminating injustice
Participating with activities/organizations that are already working to bring equity (e.g.-Habitat for humanity).
Providing educational opportunities for the congregation and community on issues of social justice, race, and inequity that empower them to speak up and speak out against instances of injustice


Celebrate culturally important days/activities that are present in our community but not presently celebrated by our parish
Make use of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s Sacred Ground dialogue series
Host Seminars/Town Hall style meetings
Encourage the sharing of stories and experiences
Recommend media (films, books) that provide diverse perspectives


Black History Month:

Finding Fellowship: The Film

Finding Fellowship tells the story of how three racially-segregated Methodists churches – two white and one black – decided to merge in the wake of Dr. King’s assassination. The documentary highlights our need as a community and a culture to preserve stories, memories and lessons of the past in order to shape our future. Presented by the Pleasant View Historical Association in partnership with BlackRock Center for the Arts (BlackRock) and Docs In Progress. The suggested viewing time is Tuesday, February 23 at 6:30 pm EST. This will be followed by a Live Q&A at 7:30 pm EST with the director Jason Green. In addition, the film will be available to screen from February 21st at 11:00 am EST until February 24th at 8:00 pm EST.

In addition to the above-sponsored discussion, the RESJC is hosting a follow-up discussion on Thursday 25 February at 7:00 pm EST for the Ascension Community to engage as a Parish on Zoom. To join us, email ascensionmdprojects@gmail.com

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 994 4065 6770
Passcode: 12345


28 Days of Back History:

Anti-Racism Daily provides a curated virtual exhibition of 28 works that celebrate Black legacy in the U.S. This exhibition centers on the voices of Black LGBTQ leaders and Black leaders with disabilities often diminished in our nation’s history. Each exhibition includes: an Introduction to a moment in Black history exemplified by the art, literature or artifact featured for the day; Discussion Questions to guide conversations with your family, friends, classroom, or colleagues; Action Items to dismantle anti-Blackness in your community.


From the Episcopal Diocese of Washington:

Race and Reckoning: An Exploration Into Reparations: A candid conversation on the history of race both in the United States and in our local area with Bishop Eugene Sutton of the Diocese of Maryland, Bishop Mariann, and representatives of the Diocese of Washington’s Reparations Task Force. Bishop Sutton recounts the multi-year process the Diocese of Maryland undertook that led to the passage of a resolution at their September diocesan convention approving the creation of a $1 million seed fund for reparations and racial reconciliation work. Representatives from the Diocese of Washington’s Reparations Task Force reported on what progress has been made in the Diocese of Washington in the effort to reckon with over 400 years of systemic racism in our nation and in our church. Including Q & A session with the bishops.

Black Lives Matter: What it is and What it ain’t: Register for the Feb 18 and 24, a two-part series that dispels some common myths about the BLM movement and explores ways to engage social justice more deeply.

Race and The Episcopal Church: with The Rev. Vincent Harris, Saturday, Feb 6, 2:00 p.m.