BIPOC Faith Leaders and Laity Council for #BlackLives

A Statement Released Today by Rev. Lenny and BIPOC Leaders from the #PNW

This statement repersents the collective work of intergenerational BIPOC faith leaders all over the Pacfic NorthWest and we believe the first of its kind.

Declaration of Beliefs and Statement on the Current Crisis in the #PNW

“Our Lady of Ferguson” Written by Mark Doox

https://markdoox.com

Declaration of Beliefs and Statement on the Current Crisis in the #PNW

We the BIPOC Faith Leaders and Laity Council for #BlackLives believe that all creation screams #BlackLivesMatter.

We believe that the collective story and golden thread that runs through all faith traditions and sacred scriptures the world over is one of a liberating Creator who steps into human history for the express purpose of salvation.

We believe this salvation is the unfolding of a Kin-dom* of heaven that is called collective liberation by peoples across the world.

We believe there can be no collective liberation until there is Black Liberation.

We believe that God is with the protesters. We stand in solidarity with them.

We believe in Sacred Scriptures that over and over again recount the stories of prophets, martyrs, and for some of us, a Messiah killed by the State.

We believe that policing in America is dangerous for Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. This same unethical and unjust system makes policing in America dangerous for police also.

We believe we are trapped in the same cage together and only through collective action, community building, and restorative justice can we find a way out as a country and more importantly as a people.

We believe the only just solution to this national crisis is to defund policing as we know it in America by centering the voices of Black communities, along with the voices of our Indigenous siblings and siblings of color, to envision a more just system for all: a system that actually backs the bold claims in the founding documents of this Republic.

We echo the calls on the ground in Portland to defund the Portland Police Bureau and reexamine the budgets of every community in the Pacfic North West to make sure we are investing in thriving communities instead of policing

We believe all people of faith are called to witness and resist the state violence taking place as a reaction to the cry of #BlackLivesMatter here in the Pacific Northwest, and in Portland OR specifically.

We will no longer allow ourselves or our faith traditions to be pit against one another or the people rising up all over this country.

We will no longer be tokenized by, or weaponized against our own people for the purpose of white supremacy or systemically racist structures and tactics designed to divide BIPOC faith leaders and laity.

We stand in solidarity with the indigenous peoples whose stolen land this conflict takes place on, We recognize the Multnomah, Clackamas, Clowwewalla (also known as Willamette-Tumwaters), and Cascades (also known as Watlala) bands of Chinookan peoples, and the Tualatin Band of Kalapuya. These indigenous people signed the Willamette Valley Treaty of 1855 and were later forcibly removed from their homelands to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation; their descendants live today as members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Many other indigenous nations of the Columbia River have connections to this place as well, and their descendants also live on. We further acknowledge the Wascoes, the Warm Springs, and the Paiutes, recognized as the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. We acknowledge the Cow Creek Umpqua, Tolowa Dee-ni' , the Takelma and Ahantchuyuk. We also reconizing the entire #PNW is littered with stories of indigenous oppression.It is important to acknowledge the ancestors and survivors of this place and to recognize that we are here because of the sacrifices forced upon them.

In remembering these communities, we honor their legacy, their lives, and their descendants who carry on Tribal traditions for present and future generations.

We stand in solidarity with our immigrant siblings from all over the world and those in particular who are being terrorized by systemic racism weaponized against them in the Pacific Northwest.

We rebuke the paramilitary tactics of ICE and Border Patrol and Customs agents and the gross federal overreach in the Pacfic NorthWest and all over the country.

We hope, pray, and earnestly desire that when the people of the Pacific Northwest watch us join them on the front lines, they will allow us to bless this liberation movement, and offer support, mutual aid and spiritual care. We hope, pray, and earnestly desire they might believe that here in the #PNW, BIPOC people of faith scream with them #BlackLivesMatter!

Signed

The Rev. Lenny Duncan +

He/Him

Pastor

Jubilee Collective, Vancouver WA.

Rev. Dr. Bill Sinkford

He, Him

Sr. Minister

First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR.

The Rev. Cecil Charles Prescod, OCC

he/him

Minister of Faith Formation

Ainsworth United Church of Christ, Portland OR.

The Rev.Ernestein C. Flemister,

she/her

Rector

St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Grants Pass OR.

Alaide Vilchis Ibarra,

Executive Director,

she/her/ella

Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice

The Rev. Shimiko Montgomery

she/her

Bend OR.

LaVeta Gilmore Jones

She/her

Co-Director/Organizer

Leaven Community/Salt and Light Lutheran Portland OR.

Jerrell Williams

He/him

Pastor

Salem Mennonite Church, Salem OR

“Our Lady of Ferguson” Written by Mark Doox