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 our chairperson, Laurie Yelle at AscensionRESJ@gmail.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


Holocaust Remembrance Day Event

Thursday, April 15, at 7:00 p.m.

Discussion hosted by Ascension’s Race, Equity and Social Justice Committee via Zoom.

To commemorate this lives lost and the survivors of the Holocaust, the RESJ Committee will host a discussion of the 3GDC (Washington DC Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors), Sixth & I, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington’s Holocaust Remembrance Day: Voices of History, Lessons for Today event for the congregation. The 3GDC special program was live-streamed on April 8. We gathered virtually with communities around the world for stories from Holocaust survivors, music, and prayers to remember the systematic persecution and murder of six million Jews and millions of other innocent people from a variety of ethnic, religious, and national backgrounds. We are also recommending the below sermon by Dr. Amy Jill Levine at the National Cathedral to help frame our discussion. Dr. Levine spoke about an issue very close to home—the anti-Semitic impact of our own Lectionary and in particular, the Lectionary appointed for Holy Week. In her sermon, Dr. Levine referred to efforts in progress in the Diocese of Washington. For those who were unable to attend the event, the recording and Slide presentation are provided below.  Join us in conversation about the rise of modern antisemitism and the lessons of the Holocaust.
To register, or for questions, email us at ascensionmdprojects@gmail.com.
Antisemitism’s Repackaged Resurgence PPT presentation 

Holocaust Remembrance Day: Voices of History, Lessons for Today from Sixth & I on Vimeo.


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