Commitments

Unifying Commitments 

  1. Commitment to Jesus

Apart from Jesus, racial unity is impossible. (Ephesians 2:11-22)

Christian social justice seeks not to assert power, but to sacrificially use power to love your neighbor as yourself.  

  1. Commitment to Prayer

We are called to Kingdom Centered united prayer and enter into conversations with an attitude of prayer. Division is what the enemy wants, but unity is what Jesus died for (John 17).

We commit to lament with those who have suffered injustice, inequality, and at times, death. We grieve as one body.  

  1. Commitment to Confession, Repentance and Forgiveness

UNITE KC encourages the confession of sin, both individual (I John 1:9) and corporate (Nehemiah 1:5-10, Daniel 9).  We believe that a commitment to Jesus is a life of repentance.  Simply stated, all parties must come to the table in a spirit of love, forgiveness and a commitment to unity. 

  1. Commitment to Relationships

UNITE KC will foster authentic and new relationships with those who are culturally different, racially different and socially different. 

  1. Commitment to Validate Experiences of Blacks and People of Color

Kansas City is a great collection of diverse talents, skills and gifts, each of us fearfully and wonderfully made and we should celebrate our differences serving together for the glory of God.  Working together for the common good and for our country will help us each realize our singularly unique purpose for which we were created.  

  1. Commitment to Listen

Conversations regarding race should be in the context of sensitivity and trust-building. The issue of race is extremely emotional and mutual respect goes a long way to minimize emotion. We don’t enter into this conversation as foes, but as allies, as siblings of the Father. We commit to Listening.  

  1. Commitment to Create a Safe Environment for Courageous Conversations About Race

We commit to confronting racism without judging or labeling others. Labels put people on the defensive, particularly without knowing them or their beliefs.  We will create a safe environment for this kind of work, especially considering our current environment of social unrest.  

  1. Commitment to Move Beyond Courageous Conversations

Communication is productive toward racial justice and healing when it leads to action. While communication is critical as are moments of togetherness, we commit to taking action.  To do one good thing.    

  1. Commitment to Education

To overcome racial inequality, we must confront our history and commit to becoming educated regarding that history and its present legacy in the current issues facing the black community.  

  1. Commitment to Experience, Explore, and Celebrate Black Culture

Appreciate Black authors, Black artists, and Black creatives. Enjoy Black art, music, dance, and theater. Experience Black preaching.  

  1. Commitment to Endure

While the issue of race is painful and difficult, the path to true relationships is THROUGH painful times, not around them.  Respect one another enough to be willing to hear their pain. 

  1. Commitment to Maintain the Focus and Scope of UNITE KC

Racial Equality is not a steppingstone issue that leads to conversations regarding marriage, gender, abortion, etc. UNITE × KC is centered around the racial equality issue and will not expand the focus to include additional issues. 

  1. Commitment to Help All Children

Children truly are the future and are powerless to choose the zip code and circumstances into which they are born, yet those dynamics shape the opportunity they have to develop and thrive. It is critical that we are mindful of and support efforts to serve the underprivileged, particularly children, in education, health care, and youth activities as their healthy development into adults hinges on it. 

  1. Commitment to Fathers and Serving the Fatherless

We affirm the role of all fathers in Kansas City. The disintegration of the nuclear family has produced profound pain, suffering, life-long poverty, relational instability, incarceration, poor physical health, hopelessness, and more. 

Whether caused by voluntary/involuntary removal from the home or mental/emotional absence, fatherlessness and its far-reaching effects have disproportionately affected blacks. We must all come together, not only to establish the biblical standards and lifestyles of healthy families but also to care for those who have grown up with great deficits from a lack of fathers.    

  1. Commitment to the Local Church

The Church must lead in Kansas City. If the Church doesn’t lead, the culture will. Sunday morning is the most segregated time of the week in Kansas City. We will seek to connect White and Black Churches in Kansas City. 

  1. Commitment to Practice Patience

Both Whites and Blacks will need to seek to understand before seeking to be understood. The culture of Black and White communities are different reflecting hundreds of years of different experience in the United States. Legal. Economic. Geographic. Social. Educational. This new understanding is grown from education not guilt, shame, or fear. We acknowledge the historically disparate opportunities and advantages those making the rules had that can feed bias which in turn can lead to discrimination. Patience in both the Black and White communities is necessary to understand one another.  

  1. Commitment to Influence Our Community

We believe that systemic change starts with individual heart transformation that begins by taking personal responsibility. We commit to take personal responsibility and work to diversify local institutions and enrich our own organizations with complementary diverse voices and influence.  We encourage businesses to move into black communities and will work with neighborhoods to discover economic opportunities to thrive.  

  1. Commitment to Calling out Myths that contribute to Racism

Myths dominate social media and we will educate by calling them out.

Myth – “You can eliminate racism without first acknowledging race, propagated by saying we are all one human race and therefore we should not see White, Black or Brown.”

Truth –  Being “colorblind” dismisses a core piece of a person’s identity and the injustices faced because of it.  Color must be seen to know equality.

Myth – “Slavery was good for a number of Blacks”.

Truth As shocking as it sounds, a sadly large number of people in this modern-day, hold this position.

“Anytime, anytime while I was a slave if one minute’s freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it—just to stand one minute on God’s earth a free woman—I would.” -Elizabeth Freeman — First Black slave to file and win a freedom lawsuit against the state of Massachusetts.

  1. Commitment to Financial Integrity – and Sacrifice

There is a cost to doing justice. If I’m going to do justice, I’m going to lose something. If I’m helping the poor, there is a cost. Christians too often look for the win-win. How can we help the poor and our community? How can I lift up the poor and be lifted up by my actions? The call of the Gospel of Jesus is a call to sacrifice.  

  1. Commitment to Thinking Outside the Box

While we are not primarily an event-driven movement, we will encourage any dream that advances the cause of racial justice and unity in Kansas City

 

Meet the Voices behind UNITE KC

 

Unite KC Executive Team

Dayton Moore    

Melvin Cole

Jimmy Dodd

Aimee Minnich

John Brooks

Jeremiah Enna

Pam Harris

Unite KC Staff

Ray Jarrett

Executive Director

Brad Clark

Independent Consultant

Shannon Benton

Administration / Communications

 

Support for Unite KC

Lynne Beaver

Executive Director, Brandmeyer Family Foundation

Brenda Calvin

Culture and Inclusion Officer, Health Forward Foundation

Connie Hougland

National Christian Foundation

Jan Kreamer

Former CEO, Kaufmann Foundatio