Injustice in any form involves the abuse of power. For the past eleven years, we at HtH have been using our voices to bring attention to injustice, particularly the injustice of sex trafficking. We have been encouraging each other not to ignore the violence in our own backyard nor around the world.
The recent death of George Floyd has brought to the forefront of our awareness another form of injustice: racism. This current climate of instability is both an invitation and a challenge. It is an invitation to address diversity and power dynamics in our communities. It challenges us to dare to look at how we are a part of the problem.
In our years of learning about injustice, we have also encountered the concept of “suffering avoidance”. “Suffering avoidance” occurs when we choose apathy over discomfort, when we choose comfort over our ability to respond, when we choose detachment over connecting to emotions. In the face of injustice, we all choose “suffering avoidance” on a regular basis. After all, who among us willingly wants to suffer or witness others suffer?
But entering into the suffering of others is the definition of compassion. One of our core values in HtH is compassion; we seek to be compassionate people, as it reflects the life of Jesus, who entered into our suffering in his incarnation and suffered on our behalf at the cross. Compassion demonstrates we see and hear people, we want to understand their pain, we want to respond.
God made all of humanity in His image – each person bears that image, and therefore has inherent dignity and worth. Because we seek to value people as God does, we at HtH affirm that Black lives and Indigenous lives matter. We denounce all race-based violence, oppression, repression, and marginalization of people.
In Harmony through Harmony,
1. We commit to learn more about systemic racism.
2. We commit to assessing barriers to racial inclusion in our community. For example, we have recognized music literacy to be a barrier for those who come from aural cultures and have taken steps to address this.
3. We commit to reading Canada’s 94 alls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and identifying together how we can respond as a community.
4. We commit to continue to endorse organizations like International Justice Mission who work tirelessly around the world to “bring criminals to justice” and “strengthen justice systems”.
We will seek to be more compassionate, more courageous, more humble, and to listen better. Together, may we impact culture through the fight for justice, and see thriving communities worldwide.
- Beth McLean Wiest, Executive Director.