UCC GMP: 2024 desk calendar cover does not reflect ‘commitment to antiracism’
To the Family and Friends of the United Church of Christ,
I write to apologize for the ways in which the most recent edition of the UCC desk calendar failed to live up to our commitments to be an antiracist body.
It has been brought to my attention that a slight rotation of the cover image in either direction would more accurately reflect the racial equity we seek. I am grateful for such attention to the subtleties of racism and agree.
I want to thank those of you who took the time to write to me and share your disappointment, your outrage and your commitment to hold us accountable to our promises.
The cover does not reflect our strong commitment to antiracism. I apologize for that. Seeing how the image on the cover is plainly focused on the blonde-haired person makes it clear to me that there are still ways in which the centering of whiteness remains instantiated in our language, our art and our culture.
This is a reminder of the kind of diligence required to fully overcome the ravages of white privilege still embedded in our system, our psyche and our culture. We will again remind ourselves and challenge ourselves to apply a level of diligence that will reduce the likelihood that this happens again. We will also review the processes we use to approve graphic designs before being published, building a network of accountability that will enable us to align more fully with our vision for and commitment to antiracism.
My deepest and sincerest apology to those whom this cover art offended and angered. Thank you again to those who took care and time to speak to me in ways that helped me recognize my short-sightedness. It is my hope that this ongoing covenantal commitment of holding each other accountable will lead us closer to the hoped for vision of a church and a culture free of the vestiges of white privilege and racism. We are on that journey, but not yet where God is calling us to go.
May it please God to call us ever forward and may our commitments to this work continue until justice prevails and the evil of racism ends.
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ
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