United Methodist Communities Celebrates Black History Month

As a faith based, Christian organization, UMC takes special pride in recognizing both the historical, and the ongoing achievements of Black Americans. It was only in 1976 that President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized what had already become Black History Month in many cities and colleges, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

And endeavor they did. Under extraordinary, unspeakable circumstances. Through the abomination of slavery, the gross indignity of Jim Crow, and through the legacy of economic disenfranchisement that centuries of being voiceless has wrought.

Lest we thought that the journey to civil rights, equality and justice was largely over, in 2020 we witnessed the unjustifiable deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many other Black Americans. We saw the fracturing of the nation along racial lines exposing bitter resentments that remained deep in the hearts of too many of our fellow citizens. It reminded us that our journey as a society and a country is far from over. Our need to celebrate Black Americans, and remember their contributions to our collective evolution is far from over.

Black History Month teaches us that despite the historical and ongoing challenges, extraordinary Black Americans have consistently transcended institutional racism and rose through every form of oppression to contribute to the American story. They’ve brought us ideas and inventions, built huge and successful businesses that employ thousands, and have flown into space.

They are writers, poets, athletes, and humanitarians. They are political leaders, philanthropists, firemen, fishermen, and philosophers.  In short, they are an inseparable part of the tapestry of American achievement and their contributions benefit us all. They are also an indispensable part of the community of healthcare heroes that we honor at United Methodist Communities this month, and every month. 

UMC Fair and Just Culture

In support of Black America and in solidarity with those across the country who in 2020 demanded racial justice, UMC has launched Fair & Just Culture. All of our communities are recommitted to enhancing and evolving a just culture for all residents and associates. This action values learning, respect, and open discussion at all times. 

Led by our Mission Team, this ongoing process has started in our communities with active participation from our associates. The  team will facilitate discussions that encourage participants to share what they have in common as well as their differences with one another and help us understand the reasons for those differences. We will consistently encourage each member of the UMC community to listen to their peers with empathy, and then speak their own truths respectfully. To learn more about our Fair & Just Culture taking place across each community, please visit our website for President & CEO, Lawrence D. Carlson’s full statement. 

Celebrate Black History Month With UMC in 2021

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., famously said, “…the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice.” Here at UMC, we ask all our residents, employees, and friends to celebrate Black History Month by keeping that sense of justice, that fairness, that kindness that is so American, close to the heart this month, and every month. The bible says, “The Lord has shown us what is good and what is required of us: ‘To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.'” (Micah 6:8)