We are Renewal – Our Commitment to Anti-Racism
At Renewal, we have zero tolerance for racism and are committed and willing to stand up to fight for justice and highlight wrongdoing. We are a family, and as the Bible declares, “no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family” (Ephesians 2:19). We are sisters and brothers who belong and grow together, to see the kingdom expand. No one is excluded and everyone, no matter what they look like or their background, has the opportunity to take their place in God’s family and make a valuable contribution to Renewal.
We value the richness that comes with racial and ethnic diversity and desire to create a true sense of belonging for our church family and anyone touched by our mission to go from one to many. All people are made in the image of God, and in the Bible, God proclaims that “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) The Bible also tells us that God shows no partiality: “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism” (Acts 10:34)
Therefore, we believe in justice and equality for all, in line with what the Bible teaches on these matters. As Christians, we stand for love and justice. It is not enough for us to say that racism is bad; our faith compels us to speak up and take action against oppression and injustice. Renewal takes on the responsibility of being anti-racist, intertwining this with the outworking of our mission, values and vision.
Renewal is active in our local communities and wants to commit to being part of the solution and a role-model organisation in reflecting the diversity of these communities and giving opportunity to anyone, regardless of the colour of their skin.
This policy applies to all staff team members, volunteers, partners, regular attenders and anyone who is reached by the work of Renewal.
Renewal is committed to taking positive action to increase the diversity, inclusion and representation of all people across the Church and urges individuals to personally commit to antiracism in their own lives and spheres of influence.
Being racist or antiracist is not about who we are; it is about what we do. Antiracism results from conscious decisions to make consistent, equitable choices daily. These choices require ongoing self-awareness and self-reflection as we move through life.
The continued efforts of each of us individually can add up to a lasting change in our society. Since racism operates at individual, societal, and institutional levels, antiracist choices must be taken in each of these levels to eradicate racism from the structures and fabric of our society.
What can you do?
- Awareness: Read up and learn. Read books and watch videos that will help you to understand this issue more deeply.
- Be intentional about developing meaningful relationships with people who are not the same colour/background/culture as you
- Act: Speak out when you see injustice and racism taking place – raise an official concern, blow the whistle
- Have more conversations about race, skin colour and personal experiences. Be a good listener. Be more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
What will Renewal do?
- Commitment to diversity in leadership, governance and staff team
- Financial support for BAME grassroots organisations through the Renewal Foundation
- Regular training in the form of collaboration and/or diversity & inclusion and/or unconscious bias training
- Address, equip and engage our church family on the theology of equality and justice and share testimonies and stories to this end
Support & Well Being
Renewal has a Listening Service for people who need a safe space to talk.
The Renewal Therapy Service is available for more complex needs and is staffed by fully qualified counsellors.
For more information on either of these services, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 711 7300.
Below are some terms with brief definitions that you may see when engaging in the wider anti-racism discussion:
BAME. Black Asian and Minority Ethnic. A common term used in the UK to describe people who are not white.
Covert Racism. A form of racial discrimination that is disguised and subtle, rather than public or obvious.
Discrimination. In its broadest sense, discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age, sex, or disability.
Equality. the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.
Microagressions. Defined as the everyday, subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — interactions or behaviours that communicate some sort of bias toward historically marginalised groups
Overt Racism. is the intentional and/or obvious harmful attitudes or behaviours towards another minority individual or group.
Racism. Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalised.
Race. Each of the major groupings into which humankind is considered (in various theories or contexts) to be divided on the basis of physical characteristics or shared ancestry. A means of categorising people based predominantly on perceived common physical and behavioural traits. For the most part, people aren’t able to choose their racial identities or the assumptions and stereotypes associated with them – rather, race is something that society ascribes to people.
Concerns Policy – refer to this policy if you would like to raise a serious concern about anyone in our organisation, whether they are a staff member, volunteer or church partner.
Equal Opportunity & Dignity at Work Policy – for staff team, refer to the Employee Handbook, page 38.
Disclosure in the Public Interest (Whistle Blowing) Policy – for staff team, refer to the Employee Handbook, page 32