Jubilee! Community is built on a foundation of Creation Spirituality, which means we celebrate life, value compassion, and work for social justice. Thus we condemn the brutal murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and so many other Black and Brown men and women and children over the centuries. We stand in solidarity with the Black community and protesters across the US and world. We believe anyone involved in white supremacist violence must be held accountable.
Jubilee! is a community that values diversity in all things, and yet at our Sunday morning celebrations, white faces prevail. Consciously or unconsciously, we have colluded in the white supremacy culture that’s being exposed today. And we acknowledge that we must take direct action to break the 400-year cycle of racism.
As a community, we must build better relationships with Asheville’s communities of color. We must ask Black leaders “What do you need, and how can we support you?” We must listen to what they say and then act accordingly, using our privilege in wise and meaningful ways.
We must also make meaningful changes within our own organization and expand diversity, inclusion, and equity within our leadership, management, and staff. We also must follow the lead of our racial equity team and educate the white people of our community about the history of race, systemic racism, and white privilege. And we must become more aware of our own biases, habits, assumptions, and ignorance and act on what we learn.
Jubilee’s slogan is “To keep the main thing the main thing.” And currently, that includes compassion. Compassion for it all — for the rage, for the fear, for the apathy, for the ignorance. We invite compassion for people of color who are releasing centuries of pent up rage and grief. For white people who are afraid to talk about race and don’t understand their own privilege. For those hardened by unimaginable hate, and for those stuck in shame, guilt, and blame, at others and themselves We invite compassion for all because that’s what our radical man Jesus would do.
Another main thing at Jubilee! is social justice. So we also invite action, not as helper to helpee, as that only creates more division, but because your liberation is tied to mine. So we invite you to pray with your feet. To follow and listen to local and national black leaders. To educate yourself on white supremacy culture, white privilege, white saviorism, microaggression, and more. To support organizations on the ground doing the difficult and sometimes tedious work. To build REAL relationships with people of color. To take part in peaceful protest, and also civil disobedience. After all, it’s what those radical mystics Gandhi, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr would do.
With the current destruction wrought by the virus, the killing of George Floyd, and the government response to peaceful protests, we stand on a precipice. And each of us must ask ourselves, how can I best use my privilege at this time? We ask ourselves as an organization too.
After centuries of violence and racism carried forth from generation to generation, not just as hatred, but as ignorance, privilege, apathy, and economic and educational access, now is the opportunity to emerge into something new — a more just and compassionate nation. And this courageous effort will take each of us, working hand in hand, heart to heart, spirit to spirit.
Here is a list of resources you may want to check out as you decide how to stand in solidarity and keep the main thing the main thing, in your own way.
In solidarity and love,
The Jubilee Board, Ministers, and Staff