Synod committee recommends diversity education proposal
Written by J. Martin Bailey
June 29, 2009
A resolution favoring diversity and multicultural education in the public schools is being recommended for action by the General Synod action Tuesday.
The proposal, which encourages programs of diversity education, was submitted by the Northern California Conference after two of its congregations were the focus of threats and legal action by right-wing groups claiming that diversity education is an attack on "family values" and the "nuclear family." The churches, in Alameda and Hayward, had provided programming at the request of local school teachers. The programming was designed to help children understand and respect all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.
The two pastors, the Rev. Laura Rose of First Congregational UCC in Alameda and the Rev. Arlene Nehring of Eden UCC in Hayward, were invited to explain the circumstances that led to the threats.
The resolution being presented by the committee "supports the efforts of organizations, especially public school districts, to develop programs that promote anti-bullying, safe schools, and an acceptance of wide-ranging diversity. The resolution affirms that diversity education should embrace persons of all races, ethnic origins, genders, faiths, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, socio-economic classes, countries of origin, and their families.
The proposal recommends a series of specific ways that the several settings of the UCC can be of assistance.