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Forum, photo exhibition to portray complexity of racism

Forum, photo exhibition to portray complexity of racism

Bishop Desmond Tutu (left) with Dr Philip Potter, WCC general secretary, during the WCC Central Committee in Jamaica (1979) that dealt among other issues with the struggle against racism, Photo: WCC

08 May 2019

An Ecumenical Strategic Forum, convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 9-10 May, accompanied by a photo exhibition, will seek to explore the complexities of racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination.

Addressing racism ecumenically will continue to be priority for the fellowship of WCC member churches as they move toward the 11th Assembly in 2021. The forum aims to galvanize the continued witness of the ecumenical movement by bringing together WCC specialized ministries, roundtable partners and other global actors.

Those gathered will examine the complexities of racism today, including discrimination against people of African descent, indigenous peoples, Dalits; and the cultures of dominance and white privilege that perpetuate discrimination. They will also address the intersections of racism, poverty and gender; as well as migration, religion and xenophobia.

The forum will also review the ecumenical response to racism, learning from the churches’ legacy in helping to dismantle apartheid and listening to the experience of churches in different regions today.

In addition, those convened will take stock of United Nations mechanisms for addressing racism, as well as the role of the churches in maintaining the ecumenical commitment to combatting racism and proposing strategies to continue addressing racism, xenophobia and racial discrimination.

As a “forum,” the event will be designed as a space in which people can talk about a problem or matter of particular public interest. The forum will include inputs from independent experts and church-related experts, providing analysis, sharing examples and identifying challenges.

“Forum groups” will process inputs, reflect on their experiences and intersections, generate synergies and produce strategies.

Photos offer glance at the past, present

A photo exhibit will show the ecumenical movement’s long history in the struggle to combat racism, featuring photos from the past and present.

Photos will portray such figures as Martin Luther King, Jr; author James Baldwin; Bishop Desmond Tutu; and many others, and also show how the WCC supported and interacted with them as they fought for justice.

"Combating Racism - an ecumenical legacy": visit the photo gallery in the WCC photo archive

WCC work on racism

WCC leads exploration on racial justice