Highland Presbyterian Church is actively striving daily to become an anti-racist institution through education, engagement, support, and advocacy. As a congregation, we embarked on a 21-Day Challenge in 2020 to begin confronting our own understandings of white privilege and systemic racism. This challenge is now ongoing and continuously being updated as new sources emerge that will benefit our education and self-study.
In June 2020, Black leaders in Louisville called on the community to eliminate racial inequity by supporting efforts in jobs, justice, education, health, and housing in A Path Forward for Louisville. They specifically called on white faith communities to “move from being non-racist to aggressively becoming antiracist.”
Systemic racism manifests in many areas of inequity and injustice: housing and home ownership, education, environment, banking and lending, policing, incarceration, food access, education, business investment, employment opportunity and pay, health disparities, reparations and more. Many of our members are individually engaged in addressing these topics through volunteer efforts, financial support and advocacy, as is Highland as a congregation. In 2021, Highland made a significant loan from our endowment to support the creation of affordable housing by Housing Partnership, Inc., a Louisville organization. We continue to find ways additional in which we can support and advocate on behalf of A Path Forward for Louisville and share hope from the heart of the Highlands.
As we engaged with A Path Forward and began our journey to become radically anti-racist, we formed a Race Equity Task Force and our session joined together to write our Anti-Racist Statement (pdf). We also asked our church historians to take a fresh look at our church’s history as it pertains to race. Their document Who Are We When It Comes to Race (pdf) can be found here. The Race Equity Task Force eventually expanded this challenge to embark on a Race Audit, assessing our past, present, and offering challenges for the future in how we can continue to engage in this work. Their full report can be found here (pdf).