AKRON, Pa. – The Anti-Racism Program (ARP) of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. is resuming its Damascus Road Anti-Racism Process, a set of trainings that focuses on dismantling racism within churches and other Christian communities in the U.S. The trainings have been on a sabbatical since March 1, 2010.
During the one-year sabbatical, ARP staff and Damascus Road trainers (who are independent consultants) undertook to evaluate and renew the Damascus Road model, methods and procedures for training.
In addition, during a September 2010 meeting that echoed past discussions, ARP staff and trainers determined that it would be beneficial for Damascus Road, which is one component of the ARP, to form the foundation of an independent organization.
On November 6, 2010, the MCC U.S. Board of Directors took action to bless the Damascus Road program moving into a more independent mode and expressed gratitude for the work and ministry of the Damascus Road program and staff over the years. They directed staff to prepare a transition plan for their review.
A consultation in January brought together Damascus Road trainers with others who participate in the Damascus Road program to discern next steps. The gathering was a time of celebrating the past, examining the present and looking to the future.
Details for the transition to an independent organization are under discussion. Until the transition is complete, Damascus Road trainings will continue to be a function of the ARP.
In addition to Damascus Road, other MCC U.S. Anti-Racism Program areas of focus include consultation with church institutions on anti-racism and anti-oppression issues; audits, assessments and strategic planning support; and speaking, workshops and educational resources. It is anticipated that these will continue to be part of MCC’s ARP.
Churches, schools and other organizations wishing to schedule Damascus Road Anti-Racism Process trainings for as early as March 1, or any other ARP services for any time, are invited to contact ARP at firstname.lastname@example.org . More information on ARP programming can be found at http://antiracism.mcc.org . A statement from Damascus Road trainers about the sabbatical and initial next steps can be found at http://drtransition.wordpress.com/ .