RocACTS – Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society
Third Church, as an active member of this 12-year-old interfaith organization, joins other congregations in the work of dismantling racism. Did you know? During this past year, RocACTS:
- Partnered with Rochester Monroe County Anti-Poverty Initiative in support of the Fight for $15
- Contributed to the research of the Commission on Racial and Structural Equity
- Presented a position paper on the reallocation of police resources
- Advocated for the passage of Humane Alternative to Long-Term Solitary Confinement legislation (HALT Solitary Confinement)
- Participated on Police Accountability Board Alliance
- Advocated for antiracism education in all Monroe County schools
- Advocating for passage of NYS Wealth Tax
- Partnered with The Children’s Agenda and the Black Nurses’ Association on a Virtual Candidates Forum
There are Third Church people on every one of the RocACTS task forces. You are always welcome to join a task force and help in this work!
Education Task Force:
- Creating an antiracism report card for all Monroe County School Districts
- Working to ensure action on the “Stand Against Racism” pledges made by Monroe County Superintendents on June 9, 2020
- Advocating for districts to designate part of one-time pandemic relief funding for antiracism projects
Justice System Task Force:
- Advocates for the passage of Daniel’s Law (named for police victim Daniel Prude), which would create a mental health response council and response unit in the NY Department of Health. Members of the mental health unit would respond to emergency calls relating to mental health crises.
- Advocates for reform of the cash bail system, which disproportionately impacts people of color (the 2019 Bail Reform Act was largely reversed just 3 months later)
- Advocates for Parole Justice, which would create more fair and meaningful release opportunities for incarcerated people
- Advocated for Raise the Age legislation, which raised the age at which an adolescent may be tried as an adult
- Advocated for an end to long-term solitary confinement (the HALT Solitary Confinement Act)
Poverty, Jobs & Housing Task Force:
- Pursues Universal Basic Income
- Campaigns for large employers to meet the standard of $15/hr minimum wage.
- Partners with Rochester Tenants Union to help educate legislators and public about the local housing crisis (rising rental rates, lack of decent housing options, eviction threats)
Listening and learning resources from last month’s Congregational Updates
- Shane Wiegand’s Redlining presentation about Webster
- Netflix series High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine transformed America
- Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed Fresh Air episode on the History of Juneteenth
- The New York Times’ Nice White Parents podcast (5 one-hour episodes).
- Phrases to Avoid
- Past Due: Redlining, Reparations, and RCSD
- Actions you can take in response to white supremacist violence
- Matthew 25: 14-30, focus on the servant with one talent, and ask yourself:
- What is this servant’s assessment of God?
- How are the servant’s actions related to the servant’s view of God?
- As we consider the task of dismantling structural racism, how will our conception of God affect our actions?
- In the effort to dismantle structural racism, what are your ‘talents’? What are Third Church’s ‘talents’?
Learn about the 1921 Race Massacre of Tulsa, Oklahoma:
- Read a comprehensive history from the Tulsa Historical Society
- View a 3-D model of “Black Wall Street” in the Greenwood District of Tulsa
- Watch a detailed account of the massacre
- Discover a timeline of 24 other Black massacres.
Drop off plastic and paper bags with handles to Memorial AME Zion Church (549 Clarissa St, Rochester, NY 14608) on Wednesdays from 3:00-7:00 pm; bags are used to distribute needed food to over 200 families.