Equity & Justice Ministries

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General Commission on Race & Religion Newsletter

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Click here to learn more about 30 Days of Antiracism beginning on September 1, 2023. 

About Equity and Justice Ministries

Rev. Dr. Bill White, Jr. was appointed to the position of Director of Equity and Justice Ministries, a new ministry in the WNC Conference, on April 1, 2021.

His role is to direct strategic efforts in the WNCC as they relate to diversity, equity, inclusion, and advocacy, and to implement them throughout the Conference. In this role, Dr. White leads the implementation of the Conference’s Comprehensive Plan of Equity and related initiatives and programs. He also serves as a staff liaison and support for all our ethnic ministries and advocacy efforts.

EJM's immediate goal is to increase collaboration and coordination of initiatives and programs that address the vitality and representation of all ethnic groups and women in the Conference.

Often, we will hear Dr. White talk about the 3 C’s:

  • Communication 
  • Collaboration
  • Coordination
Comprehensive Plan of Equity
  • Educational Work (Anti-Racism)
  • Next Generational Leaders
  • Seminary Visits
  • New Church/Fresh Expressions
  • Church Staff Positions
  • Changing Neighborhood - Reopens
  • Changing Neighborhood - New Pastor
  • Appointment Process
  • Internships

As the Director of EJM, Dr. White also serves on the Appointive Cabinet, which is responsible for making appointments and other WNCC matters.

A few of the teams, task forces, and committees that Dr. White works with are:

  • Justice & Reconciliation Team, that falls under the umbrella of Equity & Justice Ministries, which includes: 
    • African American Ministries 
    • Hispanic and Latino Ministries
    • Asian American Ministries
    • Native American Ministries 
  • Board of Ordained Ministry 
  • Ministerial Services
  • Church Development
  • Conference Outreach
  • Just Compensation Task Force
  • Anti-Racism Committee – RISE
  • BMCR (Black Methodists for Church Renewal)

Significant Highlights
  • Contracted with SBC21 (Strengthening the Black Church 21) to provide consulting and training services for African American laity and clergy.
  • Hired a Coordinator for Black/African American Church Growth and Vitality.
  • WNCC Committee on Finance and Accounting gave COVID grants that supported both testing and vaccination clinics for $153,700 in 2021. Churches of color, mostly African American churches, received $149,200.
  • The Board of Pensions, through a gift from a church, a grant from the United Methodist Foundation, and some of its own funds, was able to forgive $49,102 in outstanding Benefits debts, most going to African American churches and pastors.
  • Co-Sponsored “Courageous Conversations” Event with Speaker, LaTasha Morrison, with Light of Christ UMC in Ballantyne.
  • Two petitions related to Just Compensation and fair interview practices were passed at the 2022 Annual Conference.
  • First year residents in ministry are now required to take a tour of the Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro.
  • Co-Sponsored National Prison Summit with SBC21 (Strengthening the Black Church 21) and BMCR (Black Methodists for Church Renewal).
  • Conducted a seminar to establish a Conference-wide voter registration drive.

Equity and Justice Ministries continues to engage in a multifaceted approach to our responsibilities of advocacy and activism within the Conference and community, which include coordinating efforts with many departments, organizations, and caucuses.

The vision for Equity and Justice Ministries is to have a Conference where:

  1. there is not simply equality but true equality and justice for persons of color and women;
  2. the needs of congregations and members among our African American, Asian-American, Latinx, and Native American communities are addressed;
  3. we are truly the beloved community of love and faith in Jesus, the Christ and re-present Christ to the world. 

In the past year, Equity and Justice Ministries, by collaborating with many throughout the Conference, has achieved and accomplished much and I invite you to visit our updated website. However, there is still much work for us to do. 

If we seek first the kingdom/reign of God, we can be fruitful in our work of antiracism and being the Church that God has called us to be and with whom God will be pleased.

May we all continue to strive toward the Wesleyan understanding of perfection, as perfect love of God and perfect love of neighbor and let us be mindful that we are one body in Christ and what affects one member of the body affects the whole body.