6. Acknowledging the 175th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery in the State of Connecticut and Creating an Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) Reparations Fund
The Task Force on Reparations: Cheryl Sharp, Esq. and The Rev. Dr. Donald Hamer, Co-Conveners; The Rev. Whitney Altopp, The Rev. Darryl Burke, The Rev. Rowena Kemp, Mr. Thomas Rouse, The Rev. Tracy Johnson Russell, Ms. Valarie Stanley, The Rev Sandra Stayner, The Rev. Ronald Steed, Ms. Denise Welsh, Ms. Lisa Yarbor; The Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation Ministry Network: The Very Rev. Miguelina Howell and Dr. Suzy Burke, Co-Conveners, Dr. Jilda Aliotta, The Rev. Margie Baker, Bob Giolitto, Karen J. Hatcher, Conrad Sienkiewicz, Gail Bindley-Taylor, Mike Whilby; Dana Farr, The Rev. Bonnie Matthews, Deacon, Susan Avery, and Grace Barnum; The Task Force on Racism, Misogyny and Homophobia Within the Title IV Disciplinary Process: Rev. Dr. Linda Spiers and Rev. Rowena Kemp, Co-leaders, Rev. Tracy Johnson Russell, Rev. Dee Littlepage, The Rev. Shariya Molegoda, Rev. Dcn. Pat Jackson, Rev. Dcn. Jessie Akerson, Claudia Dixon, Tokunbo Green, Esq., Sharon Pearson
Resolved, That the 239th Convention of ECCT acknowledge the 175th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the State of Connecticut; and be it further
Resolved, That this Convention acknowledge the pain and the injustice of Connecticut’s more than 200-year legacy of slavery, and the complicity of The Episcopal Church, its leadership and its members, in it; and be it further
Resolved, That this Convention appropriate the sum of $2.5 million from unrestricted endowed funds as initial funding to generate investment income for an ECCT Reparations Fund; and be it further
Resolved, That Mission Council will appropriate a sum equal to 10% of the annual draw from unrestricted endowed funds and 3% of Common Mission Support assessments annually until the Reparations Fund exceeds $12 million; and be it further
Resolved, That this Convention encourage additional contributions to the Reparations Fund by congregations, organizations, and individuals; and be it further
Resolved, That the Reparations Fund be administered by a Board consisting of the Bishops, and a representative each of Mission Council, the Reparations Task Force, The Task Force on Racism, Misogyny, and Homophobia Within the Title IV Disciplinary Process, the Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation Ministry Network, and Donations and Bequests for Church Purposes, Inc. (the “Reparations Fund Board”) for a three-year term; and be it further
Resolved, That the Reparations Fund Board organize and hold a series of meetings, over the next eighteen (18) months, to educate and seek input from ECCT clergy and laity regarding: (1) the need for and purposes of the Reparations Fund; (2) the total amount to be contributed to the Reparations Fund; (3) how monies from the Reparations Fund will be employed to achieve the goals of racial reconciliation, justice, and healing of the wounds caused by chattel slavery and its continuing impact on people of color in the State of Connecticut; and be it further
Resolved, That the Reparations Fund Board develop approval criteria and a set of policies and procedures to govern the life-cycle of funded initiatives, including but not limited to: approval, periodic impact assessment, and termination; and be it further
Resolved, That the 239th Convention encourage the participation of all members, congregations, and other organizations of ECCT in an ECCT-wide observance of the 175th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Connecticut, to be held at Christ Church Cathedral, in conjunction with the observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Sunday, January 14, 2024, to be conducted and designed by the sponsors of this resolution, the office of the Canon for Mission Advocacy, Racial Justice, & Reconciliation, and the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral.
In 2020, the 236th Convention overwhelmingly passed Resolution 7, Acknowledging and Confronting Systemic Racism, White Supremacy, and Anti-Black Bias in Our Nation and the Episcopal Church in Connecticut: Continuing the Season of Racial Healing, Justice and Reconciliation. This resolution acknowledges and reaffirms that resolution, creates a Reparations Fund, and calls upon all congregations and members of the ECCT to reflect on, in a formal and communal way, the long journey to achieve abolition of slavery in the State of Connecticut.
Requirements to Implement:
1. The proponents of this resolution shall coordinate with Dean Lina Howell of Christ Church Cathedral on the planning, promotion and logistics of the 175th anniversary event.
2. The Donations and Bequests Committee, the Canon for Mission Finance and Operations and Mission Council will be consulted as to the source of the initial funding of the Reparations Fund.