The values of the Center for Interfaith Relations are well-expressed in our motto: Many Faiths, One Heart, Common Action. We celebrate diversity, racial as well as religious.
We stand for the flourishing of all the diverse communities with which our world has been blessed. We stand against all those who would limit, directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, that flourishing.
CIR is committed to highlighting our one heart and featuring common action expressed by our faith traditions.
We seek to foster unity, activate compassion and inspire peace. But today, true peace is not ours yet.
It is with that knowledge that we stand as witness to the deaths of Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery — and countless others killed in a country mired in institutionalized racism. We stand in solidarity with their families in the pursuit of justice.
We stand in solidarity with all who are harmed, hated, disrespected or oppressed because of the color of their skin.
We stand in solidarity with all our Black brothers and sisters subjected to social, economic and criminal injustices.
We stand in solidarity with movements working tirelessly to eradicate deep-rooted racism that has plagued our country since its founding.
But we know a statement such as this is not enough. There must be action.
For those who are white, this begins with reflecting on and reckoning with how one’s own habituated behavior or failure to act contribute to systems of oppression.
We must acknowledge the acculturated existence of white privilege and use privilege to lift up the disenfranchised, to challenge prevailing narratives and to expose injustice.
We must be willing to engage in honest and difficult conversations about race as a gateway to cultivate authentic compassion.
We must work to combat racism in our lives, our communities and our country.
The Center for Interfaith Relations recognizes that what we do now forms and informs the future. We are committed to working toward a healthier, stronger society enriched by inclusion and diversity. Black lives matter — and all faiths call us to act like they do.
In the coming weeks, CIR will offer important dialogue about race and provide meaningful opportunities to contemplate current realities and inspire change. We will share prophetic talks from previous Festival of Faiths sessions and curate new discussions to reflect present-day understandings and insights. In doing so, we will continue to tap into the sacred wisdom of diverse faith traditions as we strive for justice, healing, love, compassion and, ultimately, peace.