The focus of the Social Justice Ministry at St. Peter’s is on fair and equitable laws, measures, and policy reforms which promote systemic change and the benefits of a just society for individuals and groups, especially those who have been historically underrepresented or discriminated against. Our activities are geared toward providing education, information, and training to better equip those who wish to change their own behaviors as well as advocate for policies and practices that promote equal opportunity and equitable treatment. Check out our photo gallery by clicking here. The following pillars help to organize the focus of our ministry, understanding that because of intersectionality, no pillar is mutually exclusive.
Affordable Housing and Economic Disparity
Affordable Housing and Economic Disparity is focused on helping members understand how years of government policies around housing have led to racial segregation and ultimately, to the current affordable housing crisis and economic disparity that our nation and city are struggling to address. Through education, the hope is that members can become effective advocates to help drive the changes that are needed to begin making progress. Income inequality, lack of affordable healthcare, and school re-segregation, are examples of disparate and inequitable outcomes that exist because of sanctioned policies and practices around housing.
Racial Justice and Reconciliation
Racial Justice and Reconciliation is a priority of the National Episcopal Church and helps us achieve the goal of Becoming the Beloved Community. It advocates for the dignity of every human being and focuses on bridge-building in providing one-on-one and structured experiences to help parishioners become more comfortable in doing the following:
1. go deeper in explorations about the racial identity of themselves and people who are different from them,
2. assume responsibility for doing their own “race work,”
3. become more comfortable in using their power, privilege, platforms, and networks to say “no” to inequality.
Assuring Democracy / Voting Rights
Assuring Democracy/Voting Rights monitors and provides information to the parish about protecting our democracy in such areas as voting rights, fair elections and voter engagement, and the effect of laws and policies that dilute the power of our vote. It partners with non-partisan organizations to engage parishioners in ways to advocate for and assist with voter rights protection and access. It provides information about voting and voter rights initiatives between worship services and at coffee hour; and hosts film nights and/or discussion forums with leaders on issues relevant to assuring democracy.
Immigrant and Refugee Support
Immigrant and Refugee Support is organized around welcoming the stranger and advocating for a humane and proportional immigration system. The ministry of welcoming immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers includes walking with them as they begin their new lives in our communities and advocating for immigration policies that protect families from separation, offer meaningful access to citizenship, and embracing the dignity of every human being. All are invited to join efforts to speak out for immigrant and refugee protection and systemic welcome.
Gender Equality and LGBTQ Inclusion
Gender Equality and LGBTQ Inclusion is focused on taking a positive stance against discrimination based on gender or sexual orientaion. Gender equality as well as a person’s sexual orientiaton are fundamental human rights which should be protected under federal as well as local municipalities. This pillar focuses on increasing visibility of the issues facing women and the LGBTQ community as well as participating in programs and events which help celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. Through education, promotion and love this pillar will stand side-by-side with those who are struggling with equality and acceptance whether it be in their workplace, home, or communities at large.
Film Night presents monthly screenings of movies, primarily documentaries, with social justice themes related to each of the pillars. Pillar teams provide support for film night when their focus area is the subject of the film. An important component of Film Night is the after-film discussion, which focuses on the ways in which themes of the movies play out in our own community, and ways to get involved to effect social change around the issues raised. The medium of film is used to provide education which will lead to thoughtful actions by participating individuals and groups.
Join us on the journey of the parish vision “to be a place of unconditional welcome and a beacon of God’s love in the heart of Charlotte.” Members of St. Peter’s are welcome to join the Social Justice Ministry and participate in the planning, leading, or implementing of any programs or activities related to social justice issues, particularly those related to the aforementioned pillars.
The leadership team meets monthly and the meetings are open to anyone interested in addressing social justice policy issues – local, state, or national – which impact the lives of people and suggest the need for engagement. There is much to do, and we enjoy building relationships as we do it!
For more information or interest in getting involved, please contact the following: