Bishop's Task Force Update - October 13, 2020

Bishop’s Task Force Update—and Glossary Terms for the Week

The Bishop’s Task Force met October 5 and has been meeting at least monthly to collaborate with the member bodies of the Wisconsin Conference for radical inclusion and racial justice. In its work of dismantling systemic exclusion, they are working with the Director of Connectional Ministries to bring in a consultant group of national prominence to help us assess our systems and processes, dismantle what excludes, teach what can help us ground our work, and reform what new thing God would do in Wisconsin. This effort will require input from caucus and representative bodies as we build the bridge while we walk on it. The last meeting consisted of planning our report to the annual conference and conversation to further define our role to further how to best collaborate with other advocacy groups in the Wisconsin Conference.

Finally, the Task Force has worked on a glossary of terms we hope will help the annual conference pursue a goal of advancing radical inclusion and racial justice. From time to time these updates will end with a term or group of terms with the intention that readers use them in a bulletin or newsletter or class or sermon. If edits are suggested, feel free to pass those along. Our terms for this time will be: "intersectionality."

Intersectionality: The places and ways in a person’s life in which different parts of their identities connect and overlap to create who they fully are and potentially how they behave and experience the world.  In the context of social justice, intersectionality focuses on our social identities such as race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, citizenship, nationality, age and other characteristics (1). The term was coined by law professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in the 1980s to describe the ways multiple systems of oppression interact in the lives of marginalized people and allows us to analyze social problems more fully, shape more effective interventions, and promote more inclusive advocacy amongst communities (2).

First Do No Harm, A Toolkit for Conversations, Minnesota Methodists
LGBTQIA Resource Center, University California Davis, LGBTQIA Resource Center Glossary, 2016