Together Colorado Faith Leaders Sign a Letter to Support Racial Equity

Dear honorable members of the Colorado State Legislature:

Together Colorado is a nonpartisan, multi-racial and multi-faith statewide organization working to place human dignity at the center of public life in Colorado. We, faith leaders representing many religious and spiritual traditions, are writing to express our support for SB24-053. 

There are foundational principles that unite our diverse faith traditions, including the belief in human dignity and the inherent worth of every person. This informs our collective vision of a Colorado where everyone can thrive, regardless of what we look like or how much money we have. However, we recognize that the impacts of slavery, systemic racism, and discrimination continue to harm Black Coloradans. This bill would create a Racial Equity Study, an important tool for the state to confront past wrongs and develop equitable policies for the future. 

SB24-053 proposes the creation of the Black Coloradan Racial Equity Study Commission tasked with conducting historical and economic impact studies on discriminatory state practices, systems, and policies affecting Black Coloradans. The study would examine the areas of K12 education, higher education, workforce training, housing, criminal justice/policing, healthcare, tax policy, and access to assets and wealth building. Once complete, the Commission will work to implement recommendations for racial justice in future policy decisions and programs.

Although Colorado was not a slave state, our history is steeped in structures of white supremacy that continue to impact Black Coloradans in tangible, material ways. Historic and widespread discrimination by our state government against Black Coloradans has not been comprehensively studied, leaving gaps in data necessary for addressing racial disparities. Our congregations are committed to wrestling with and being honest about this ugly history so that we can move forward in unity and dignity. At Together Colorado and in our own institutions we actively engage in personal and systemic anti-racism work. Uncovering the specific harms of historic and ongoing racial discrimination will be a significant stride toward racial justice and healing in Colorado. As adherents of the Abrahamic faith traditions, we subscribe to the belief that  God breathed the Holy spirit into humans, endowing them with a divine essence. This conviction carries important implications. It reinforces the value and worth of every human being, and calls for treating others with respect, compassion, and dignity.

At Together Colorado, we organize for transformative legislation that uplifts human dignity for all, regardless of race, background, or religion. For too long, the lasting effects of slavery and systemic racism have impacted Black Coloradans and communities, and it’s time that these systematic disparities and the degree to which our government plays a role be comprehensively studied and addressed. We urge you to support this bill to create a path forward for equal justice and dignity for all. 

Signed by 77 clergy and faith leaders, listed on the following pages. 

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