(G)RACE Speaks

On March 18, 2018 at the 348th Annual Meeting of Old South Church in Boston, our congregation voted to officially adopt the (G)RACE Speaks Committee into the our by-laws. This historic decision reflects our deep commitment to fighting for racial justice and equality both inside of our church and in the world beyond our doors.

What is (G)RACE Speaks?

The (G)RACE Speaks Committee works to affirm the God-given dignity of every human person by promoting sacred conversations about matters of race within the life of Old South Church. The committee fosters diversity awareness throughout the church with the goal of becoming proficient at protecting the dignity of self and others. 

Reliance on the Seven Gifts of the Spirit—Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Knowledge, Fortitude, Piety and Wonder—grounds (G)RACE Speaks in biblical and theological language and thought. This is a Christian undertaking.

Why We Created the Committee

Matters of race are not going away. They are much with us in the world and they are much with us in our own Christian family. Issues of race affect our own members personally, directly, and sometimes painfully.

We hope to meet these challenges head on by institutionalizing an on-going vehicle for addressing race-based privilege, racial stereotyping, discrimination, and indignities that harm all. We believe that a Standing Committee (with “standing”), whose membership will be replenished over the years by the Leadership Committee, both communicates the seriousness with which the Church takes issues of race, and enables on-going matters of race to receive the theological and spiritual attention they deserve.

We furthermore assert that the strength, integrity, and wellbeing of our Church family depends upon the willingness of all of our members to regard issues of race for what they are: intimate and personal, tricky and complicated, endemic and inherited. We further believe that our Still-Speaking God, “the God who made from one blood all the peoples of the earth” (Acts 17.26) demands this of us.

To this end, we believe the work of the (G)RACE SPEAKS Committee complements the on-going work of Old South Church. For more information, contact Committee Chair Tracy Keene at tracy_keene@harvard.edu.