The Diocese of Newark is committed to pursuing ways to live into our Baptismal Covenant of “seeking and serving Christ in all persons…striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being.” (BCP page 304-305). Part of that commitment is to raise awareness of the sins of racism and sexism, and to equip clergy and lay leaders with information and tools to enable this gospel work in their lives, in their parish, and in the world. To that end, our diocese offers two separate and distinct trainings.
Both the Anti-Racism Dialogs and the Anti-Sexism Training are required by the Canons of the Diocese of Newark for all clergy, as well as any lay person seeking election to diocesan office, commission, committee, or board. While Anti-Racism training is also required by Canon across the larger Episcopal Church, our diocese is once again leading the way in the cause of justice for all children of God, being the first to require Anti-Sexism training. However, we will not be the last. Other dioceses have contacted us to gain insight into how to develop their own training, and the larger church, because of the resolution we sent to General Convention, created the “Task Force to Study Sexism in the Episcopal Church & Develop Anti-Sexism Training,” chaired by one of our own, Laura Russell, Esq.
The Anti-Racism Dialogues – offered via Zoom interactive meetings over 3 consecutive Saturdays in the Spring and Fall each year – help participants understand the origin, pervasiveness, and impact of racism; gain practice in speaking with honesty and vulnerability about the impact of racism in their life; and develop the commitment and a plan for tackling the issue of racism in their life and in their faith communities. The Dialogues are the work of the Anti-Racism Commission, chaired by Michele Simon and the Rev. Bill Cruse.
The Anti-Sexism Training is offered in-person in a single day in various locations across the diocese, multiple times per year. The training includes thoughtful discussion, interactive exercises, videos, and presentations designed to engage dialog on the impact of sexism in the lives of women and girls, understand the role of the church in perpetuating sexism, and equip participants with the tools to effect change. The training is the work of the Anti-Sexism Task Force, chaired by Laura Russell, Esq. and the Rev. Diana Wilcox.
It's important to note that, while certain members of the diocese are required to take these trainings, any member of the diocese is most welcome to participate.
So, two trainings, two engaging ways to live deeper and more fully into our baptismal covenant, and to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, in the church, and in the world. For more information about either training, or to contact the Chairs of the Anti-Sexism Task Force or the Anti-Racism Commission, please visit: