Georgetown Civil Rights Initiative

2017-09-19T19:19:57-05:00

Mission Statement

Whereas on 01 September 2017, Williamson County confesses our part in the injustices of slavery and segregation, we hereby embrace those who were once enslaved, their descendants, and all who have been delivered from chains of oppression, and we commit to treat all people as created equal, by God

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Letter To Supporters

Recent events in Charlottesville, VA have again brought to light the question of Confederate monuments. This has caused a considerable amount of tension in our county. It is a complex issue, because locally the monument that stands in front of the Williamson County Courthouse has a diversity of meanings for different people. For many it represents white supremacy and the evils of slavery and segregation. For others it is a historical artifact reminding us of past failures. And still for others, it is a way to grieve the loss of ancestors who fought in America’s most bloody war. Because the meanings attached to the monument are so diverse, we believe that its removal will bring yet more tension and misunderstanding to our community instead of the unity and equality we all desire. At the same time, the status-quo is unacceptable because of those in our nation who rally around such monuments as symbols of white supremacy. Williamson County must answer the question of what we mean by this monument in our public square.

It is important to act now. As more cities choose to remove their Confederate monuments, Georgetown will become increasingly visible on the national stage, as one of the few cities remaining with such a monument in her public square. If we do nothing, those that rally around Confederate monuments in order to promote racism will eventually come here. The resulting public relations disaster will have long lasting negative economic impact as businesses choose to not locate into our city. It will also severely damage our ability to construct a solution that brings healing and  unity.

Therefore we propose that the way forward is for Williamson County and Georgetown to proactively and powerfully declare her shared values in the public square. We do not believe that we should “balance” the Confederate monument. Instead, our public square should honor history and her people by telling a more complete story of our county’s past. We propose that a new, equally tall and visible monument be erected within the public square that (a) confesses Williamson County’s past participation in slavery and segregation, (b) embraces freedom and forgiveness, and (c) proclaims with clarity that all people are created equal by God. A plaque would declare what the monument embodies,

Whereas on 01 September 2017, Williamson County confesses our part in the injustices of slavery and segregation, we hereby embrace those who were once enslaved, their descendants, and all who have been delivered from chains of oppression, and we commit to treat all people as created equal, by God

A statue in Barbados called, “Bussa Emancipation Statue” provides a possible template for the monument. Interestingly, the sculptor, Karl Broodhagen, was born in Georgetown, Guyana!

We strongly believe that this time of conflict and tension does not need to further divide us. Instead, we recognize it as a God-given opportunity for our community to courageously step forward into greater unity and peace, becoming an even more welcoming county and city to all people and thereby setting an example for others to follow. Our prayer is that the planning, building, and completion of this new monument will be a catalyst for confession, forgiveness, and equality for all.

We ask that you join us by actively using your position of influence to promote this noble cause, and by signing up for updates on http://messiahechad.org/gcri/.

Sincerely,

Rabbi Jonathan Dade, Messiah Echad Messianic Congregation

The Reverend Kurt Hein, Light of Christ Anglican Church

Photo By Anna Kraft Photography, http://annakraftphotography.com

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