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Board drafting bylaws changes to address racism 

Wendy Blight - PNC Moderator

The over-arching goal that emerged from last spring’s Annual Meeting at First Congregational Bellevue was to address racism in the PNW conference.  There are many ways to begin. Participants at the recent Fall Gathering in Richland discussed several of them. 

Wendy Blight, PNC moderator

It is clear that racism and racial inequity permeate every issue before the PNC—like health care, immigration and education.  Together we identified some actions to take on each of the societal problems. People were energized to sign up for the work. 

The Board of Directors recognizes that the PNC, as a nonprofit institution, is a product of white privilege. We are determined to change the PNC’s culture.  It is important to put our intentions into words to have an impact on how we function together.  For the board, that starts with changing our constitution and bylaws.  We are drafting bylaw revisions that call us to address racism in the PNC.  We recognize it is essential that people of color participate as leaders on our  conference board, leadership committees and other decision-making bodies. 

The Board will review these suggested bylaw changes between now and the end of 2019 with input from people of color.  When we have a final draft, we will share it around the conference.  We hope these bylaw revisions can be voted on at our Annual Meeting in Spokane.

None of this work is easy, but it is essential to the health and well-being of each of us, the conference as whole, our churches and our communities.  It is challenging to recognize bias and address it, but it is also rewarding.  I have experienced the amazing power and energy that is unleashed when I’ve reached beyond my white understanding of the world and been blessed by gifts and perspectives of people of color.  I pray each of us will find our way to deeper relationships and understanding.

For information, call 425-213-9313 or email


Copyright © Winter 2019-2020 Pacific NW United Church News


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