Racial Justice Sunday 2013
3rd September 2013 - by Ellen Teague
Racial Justice Sunday on 8 September 2013 offers Christian communities across Britain and Ireland the opportunity to focus on the issue of ending racism and racial inequality.
Churches, schools, groups and individuals are invited to mark the day by praying and acting to raise awareness of the 50th Anniversary of the ‘I have a Dream’ speech by Dr Martin Luther King and to ask 50 years on, where are we now?
The speech, delivered on 28 August 1963, called for liberty, equality and justice for all people, regardless of their racial heritage. Dr King’s dream centred on a ‘Beloved Community’, a society built on justice, equality and freedom for all God’s people which was rooted in scripture, particularly in Revelation 7:9-10. The speech remains an inspirational call for us to work for a fairer and more equitable world now.
This Racial Justice Sunday, a resource booklet has been produced by the Catholic Association for Racial Justice (CARJ) and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), and it can be used as an advocacy resource at any time during the year.
In the UK, the Columbans – with a mission for cross-cultural mission – are aware of the current issues and changing patterns around racism, racial inequality and identity. While the past 50 years has seen some significant progress in racial equality, our society is still marked by racial discrimination and inequality for many. In practical terms that means that the ethnic group that you are born into still has a significant impact on your life chances.
Despite changes in the law, Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities still regularly experience worse services in education, health, housing and criminal justice sectors compared to the White British population. BME communities have worse health due to their higher rates of poverty,
unemployment, area deprivation and lower incomes. Young Black British males are more likely to go to prison than university. An estimated 5% of teachers and less than 5% of headteachers and
deputies are from BME communities, although 20% of the pupil population are from BME backgrounds. Unemployment rates of Bangladeshi and Pakistani women stand at 20.5% and Black women at 17.7% compared to 6.8% for White women. Gypsy and Traveller people experience significantly higher rates of suicide and infant and maternal death and there is a severe lack of suitable Traveller sites which result in 14% of Travellers living on the roadside or unauthorised encampments.
Resource booklet available for download at: www.carj.org.uk