At Friends General Conference, we believe that race is a powerful social construct that affects personal and institutional behaviors. That is why we believe it is important to acknowledge race and grow in our understanding of how it shapes our experience. If we ignore the reality of race in our society, it becomes more difficult to change our understandings and behavior. At its 2009 annual sessions, FGC’s Central Committee approved seven major goals for all of FGC’s work. These included two related to diversity:
- Transform our awareness so that our corporate and individual attitudes and actions fully value and encompass the blessed diversity of our human family.
- Work to grow and sustain a vital, diverse and loving community of Friends based on a shared search for unity in the Spirit.
Out of this commitment to address issues of race and increase racial and ethnic diversity within our Religious Society of Friends, we have decided to ask Gathering, Central Committee, and other conference registrants to give us information on how they identify themselves with regard to race. This should help us determine which racial groups of Friends we are serving and how their numbers might be changing over time. Of course, a quantitative measure of the presence of Friends of color does not reflect the actual experiences of those Friends, but it is an important starting point.