By Roy Teramoto, MHS Board Member
One of the values identified by the Board of Directors for MHS Alliance is pursuing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. As Anabaptists, reconciliation is the center of our work. We seek peace, wholeness, and justice for and with all people. While this should be reason enough to embark on this journey, there are also good business reasons. It may enhance the recruitment and retention of staff during this challenging time. In addition, it can expand your market of potential clients.
As an initial step, the board members and staff took an Intercultural Development Inventory. We also listened to a presentation by the United Church of Christ Health and Human Service’s experience with a diversity audit. Another activity has been reading and discussing the book, Dear White Peacemaker. We chose this book because the author, Osheta Moore, is an African-American pastor who works for equity, diversity, and inclusion and it is published by Herald Press.
The book describes Osheta’s experience with racism and reviews the history of systemic racism as well as recommends actions to counter-act it. She describes her approach as using love, not guilt to motivate change. Osheta approaches the topic with grit and grace. She frequently cites her concept of the beloved community. As a pastor, she uses scripture as well as personal stories to invite the reader into the work of anti-racism.
The Board of Directors hope to lead and model activities intended to create a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive culture. We hope that our journey may provide ideas for you and your staff to consider. We invite, encourage, and challenge you to begin your journey so “justice (can) roll on like a river.”