A few weeks after our diocese voted to create a one-million-dollar seed fund for reparations, on September 12, 2020, Bishop Sutton and the Diocese of Maryland received a $100,000 gift for the fund from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. Included with the generous gift was a letter describing the reason for the gift, thanking the Diocese for setting up the fund and wishing us every success in our efforts toward reparations.
The donor made this gift in honor of their cousin, who is black. Having never met this cousin, the white donor knows of their connection through DNA tests and acknowledged that their common ancestor several generations back was a slaveowner in Maryland.
“My line of the family ended up with the name, the property, and the power; his line got nothing but obstacles.”
The donor reports that the cousin has made a success of his life, but they believe there are countless other black cousins who have not. “This is for all of them, as well,” the donor wrote.
Our hearts go out to our generous donor for their contribution, which speaks of love and a desire to repair the racial breach in our society. We are grateful. Thank you.
On September 12, 2020, the 236th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland passed Resolution 2020-06, committing to creating a $1,000,000 seed fund for reparations 189 – 31, with nine abstentions – an 82.5% approval.
The Rev. Dion Thompson of St. Anne’s, Annapolis, commented that “This is a bold, bold step… and this might be the first step in thinking of what we can do for the Native American community or other communities that are oppressed. We are trying to heal this nation.” The resolution reads as follows:
RESOLVED, that this 236th Convention of the Diocese of Maryland encourages and affirms the creation of a reparations fund by the Diocesan Council with an initial seed investment of $1,000,000 from diocesan resources to the work of reparations. The Diocese of Maryland Diocesan Council will ensure sound fiscal management and administration of the funds and its use in coordination with the committee appointed for such work; and be it further
RESOLVED, that this 236th Convention of the Diocese of Maryland urges all congregations and affiliated schools in the diocese to prayerfully consider committing a percentage of their endowments or other resources to this fund. Percentages would be determined by each congregation and affiliated school independently; and be it further
RESOLVED, that this 236th Convention of the Diocese of Maryland urges the Diocesan Council to intentionally foster opportunities to engage in racial, reconciliation, restitution and restoration arising from the Diocese of Maryland’s complicity in supporting the practice of chattel slavery and the legacy of immense harm caused by systemic and institutional racism which continues today.