ChI Statement following the death of George Floyd from Rev. Ineda Adesanya
The mission of The Chaplaincy Institute is to educate and empower individuals for innovative interfaith service and spiritual care that heals and transforms the world. As is so evident by the events in Minneapolis and around our country, our world is in more need of healing than ever, and we at ChI feel it is important that we speak in alignment with our values.
In July 2008, ChI founder Gina Rose Halpern said: “We have been called to a remarkable profession. We are called to translate the language of suffering, both spoken and unspoken. We are called to be present at the most difficult moments of grief and anguish, with people whose lives and cultures may be totally different from ours.”
The battle for equality and justice is not an African American problem. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, Steven Demarco Taylor, Yassin Mohamed, and so many others, is an American problem. We invoke their names in this moment and acknowledge that we must champion the fight against injustice together. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “… we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” We must come together in sacred connection, united against hate, to demand justice now.
We must, each and all, lend our voices to demand safety for our communities and our world. Dr. King also said that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and today we acknowledge the spirit of Gina Rose’s words and we accept the charge required to fully live them.
We are accountable to our students, our community, and to embracing our mission and vision of service and respect for the wholeness of all. The Chaplaincy Institute recognizes the call in this difficult moment and will answer it.
Our Minister of Operations and ChI Alum, Andrew Chirch, offers the following message:
As chaplains, many of us recognize the adage: First, do no harm. And so, acknowledging our own complicity in this suffering—brought about by the very systems of white supremacy that our culture and institutions are built on—may be difficult, but it is necessary. We must continue to comfort those harmed by white supremacy culture, even as we seek to dismantle it. May we embrace our charge as a community of care and a community of caregivers and answer this call.
Some ways to take action now are included in a frequently referred to list compiled by Corinne Shutack titled, “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.” It can be found here. Additionally, we will be in touch soon with opportunities for anyone wishing to join in this work among the ChI community to learn and grow together.
May Spirit guide us toward the justice and healing we need and the world needs. All the while, may we remember that we are one.