Open Letter from Friends of Color to Pacific Yearly Meeting

An open letter from some Friends of color was published in "The Daily Miracle," the daily newsletter of Pacific Yearly Meeting's annual sessions, on 7/31/09. I reproduce it here in response to a comment from Linda to my post on the Yearly Meeting's epistle.

Open Letter to Pacific Yearly Meeting
from some Friends of Color, 7/31/2009

Dear Friends of Pacific Yearly Meeting,

Some Friend of Color came together during our annual sessions at Walker Creek Ranch on July 29th and 30th in Petaluma, CA. During our time together we identified common experiences from attending annual sessions. We have felt interracial tensions in our community. There have been times when we have felt isolated and not acknowledged in a manner that is consistent with our cultural traditions it is important to us that we are recognized as fully functioning, literate, spiritual persons of equal values as the friends that you already know here.

We request opportunities be provided for people of color to come together and get acquainted with Vanessa [Julye] as a facilitator next year. We would like for the Yearly Meeting’s Ministry and Oversight Committee to request that Friends General Conference have Vanessa Julye attend our annual sessions in 2010.

We would like to suggest that we all become conscious of the way in which new people are greeted in the following ways.
  1. Roll call can incorporate having new people identified so that we can welcome them and know who they are.

  2. We improve the way that we greet one another. Whenever we see someone we don’t know make sure that we look them directly in the eye and greet them with the intention of getting to know them better.
Also we request that a time be scheduled on a daily basis for youth and adults to come together for dialogue on topics of mutual concern. Our intention with this statement is that we seek out each other and affirm our gifts.

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