Statement of Core Values and Commitments

(Our Roles as Individuals in America's Racial History)

Statement of Core Values and Commitments

A Work in Progress
Last updated May 11, 2002; reviewed and affirmed, 2004 & 2007

ORAIIARH is a group working to end racism. This work of the heart is essential to living out our Quaker testimony of equality -- the deep moral recognition that we are all equal in the Spirit. It is work we must do.

Racism is a combination of prejudice and power, a set of attitudes and institutional arrangements that maintain the status quo of inequality. In the United States, racism has its roots in slavery and a history in all institutions and social patterns. Racism persists because it maintains advantage and privilege for whites, who benefit daily from their inaction and avoidance of the topic. Racism causes physical and emotional death for people of color, when white people undermine self-esteem, ignore ability and achievement, stereotype, and participate in economic oppression. All of these actions reduce quality of life for people of color and lead to bad health from emotional and environmental stress. Racism attacks people of color at many levels, from the interactions of everyday life to institutional patterns of power and privilege. The elimination of racism is key to the spiritual growth and development of everyone. Racism is a deeply destructive, immoral system, and the members of ORAIIARH work to eliminate it immediately.

The following values and commitments are the seeds from which our actions grow:

Our meetings are an evolving way to help each other live out these values. For us, the work requires continual attention, a lifelong commitment, and the discipline of meeting regularly as a group. In this way, we live out our faith in the ongoing transformation that is possible in the Spirit.