Multnomah Meeting's Friends for Racial Justice
As a spiritual community we have inherited the ongoing legacy of white supremacy. Friends for Racial Justice seek new ways to dismantle white supremacy and become more anti-racist in Quaker Meeting. We recognize white supremacy as a useful term for understanding complicity in upholding and maintaining racial hierarchies that systematically reward white people and disadvantage people of color.
What is Multnomah Doing to Promote Racial Justice
- Racial Justice Minute
- Multnomah Land Acknowledgement
- Racial Justice Study and Action Listserv
- Friends for Immigrant Justice Listserv
- Consideration of the Minute for Racial Justice by Multnomah Communications Committee
- Friends for Racial Justice Statement
- Notes on the Alonzo Tucker Memorial Dedication
What Can I Do to Promote Racial Justice?
- 106 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
- Podcasts and Videos about Racial Justice
- A Quaker Statement on Migration
- Sign up for the ARD (formally Anti-racism Dailey) at the-ARD.com and take action
- Become involved in the Equitable Giving Circle
The FRJ Planning Group reminds the Meeting that there is a listserv – the Racial Justice Study and Action Group – that communicates opportunities and ideas via a Google email group. Friends wanting to join the listserv should email Lew Scholl (see Meeting Directory).
Friends who attended a sharing session on immigrant concerns hosted by the NPYM Peace and Social Concerns Committee have asked the Committee to send the Quaker Statement on Migration to the clerks of NPYM Meetings and worship groups for their support – either direct, or through its adoption by NPYM.
The Quaker Statement on Migration was developed by American Friends Service Committee, Britain Yearly Meeting, Friends Committee for National Legislation, Quaker Council for European Affairs, and Quaker United Nations Office, drawing on their Quaker foundations and work with migrants and on migration.
The Statement begins, "Rooted in our belief that there is that of the sacred in everyone, our spiritual leading to up- hold the inherent value and agency of every human being, and our commitment to building a world without violence, we are heartbroken by migration policy that dehumanizes some members of our human family on the basis of where they come from. We reject the notion that security for some can be achieved through means that use or result in violence and insecurity for others. We abhor the many forms of violence used in the management of migration and the effect current migration systems have in dividing our human family."
It continues, "We are committed to working for a world where dignity and rights are upheld regardless of migration status and not on the basis of citizenship or perceived deservedness. Our faith calls us to work alone and with others for migration justice."
The Statement ends by declaring, "We reject the policies and practices that perpetuate this pain and we call for migration justice."
You can read the full statement on the FCNL website.
Meetings, Quaker organizations, and Friends’ groups or associations are encouraged to support the statement and to sign on to it. If you wish to do so, or if you have questions or comments about the statement, you may email the Quaker UN Office’s Human Rights and Refugees team, Marisa Leon Gomez Sonet at [email protected]
by Joe Snyder
Editor’s note: In 2018, Taylor Stewart, a graduate of the University of Portland, founded the Oregon Remembrance Project (ORP). https://www.oregonremembrance.com/. For over three years, ORP, the Coos History Museum, and the City of Coos Bay worked to memorialize Alonzo Tucker, Oregon's only documented African American victim of lynching. The work began February 29, 2020 with a soil collection ceremony for Alonzo Tucker near the spot where he was killed. On June 19, 2021, a historical marker was installed in Coos Bay to honor Alonzo Tucker and the thousands of other African Americans who were lynched in the United States. Joe Snyder, from Multnomah Monthly Meeting attended the installation and provides us with his impressions.
I was able to arrive a bit early for the event, having spent the night in Charleston. It was encouraging to see people gathering; but a bit alarming, after parking, to see a large pickup with oversized tires and large American flags parked right in front of the museum. Walking by the pickup, there was no sign of anyone who looked like an occupant thereof. It was a beautiful sunny morning, and there were numerous chairs set up in a semicircle around the entrance to the museum with a podium at the focus. People were streaming in. I recognized some friends from Ecuminacal Ministries of Oregon and was able to greet Taylor Stewart,
It became clear that the monument itself had been delayed, so there would be an unveiling of a replica, the thing itself to arrive in a day or two. After the usual fussing around with the portable sound system, looking for the notables who were to share, etc., the events finally got started. It was quite exciting to see how enthusiastically the Coos History Museum and Historical Society has embraced this project, in a county once noted for its KKK activity, and to note the surprisingly large crowd.* There was a string of speeches by elected officials, locals in person, senators and a congressman by read or recorded messages. Sadly, to me at least, the federal officials seemed more interested in proclaiming their support for Juneteenth as a national holiday than honoring the memory of Alonzo Tucker.
The final and most interesting segment featured speeches from several African Americans representing the Equal Justice Initiative, Oregon Black Pioneers, and Taylor Stewart who pretty much is the Oregon Remembrance project. These were more interesting and to the point, but Taylor was magnificent; eloquently and forcefully drawing the connections between the Jim Crow lynchings and the use of the death penalty in these times. It was exciting and challenging. He is a remarkable young man and deserves our attention and support. I was able to congratulate him before leaving.
The persons occupying the pickup trucks (there were now more than one) were standing in a huddle in a corner of the parking lot with a good view of the podium. Several of the members of the audience had walked over and were having what appeared to be a friendly, or at least no confrontational, conversation with them. Best guess: they were the local militia showing up in case there should be any ANTIFA uprising going on that would need to be quelled. It must have been disappointing to find only a bunch of nice mostly middle aged and elderly citizens, plus a few Community College students. One wonders what they thought of the speeches.
*The crowd actually exceeded the 300 attenders for which Taylor was hoping, that being the approximate number of those in the crowd that lynched Alonzo Tucker. Many more attended virtually.