Baha’is in North America have been working for racial harmony for more than a hundred years. Our communities have long welcomed people of all backgrounds, of all colors. We recognize that this ongoing challenge of bringing together people of all ethnic and racial groups is “the most vital and challenging issue” facing us today.
The Salem Baha’i Community began hosting “Conversations on Race” several years ago. We wanted to create an open and safe space to explore the many aspects of racism and begin to understand our own roles in eliminating prejudices and inequity. We use movies, books, YouTube, articles and current events as starting points for our discussions.
“The oneness of humanity is far more than a slogan or an abstract and unattainable ideal. It has profound implications for both personal behavior and for the way society is organized..."
National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States
“… The oneness of humanity is a spiritual truth abundantly confirmed by science. Recognition of this truth compels the abandonment of all prejudices of race, color, creed, nation, and class – of “everything which enables people to consider themselves superior to others...
“ The principle of the oneness of humankind ...implies an organic change in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet experienced…
Healing the wounds and building a society in which people of diverse backgrounds live as members of one family are the most pressing issues confronting America today. Her peace, her prosperity, and even her standing in the international community depend to a great extent on the resolution of this issue.”
In 1991, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United States issued a statement on race unity to lift up the conversation on race in America. The Vision of Race Unity: America’s Most Challenging Issue is available online in its entirety.
“Every believer can address the improvement of his or her own character. Each can strive to work alongside others to ensure that the social spaces in which they participate—especially in families, local communities, places of work and education, Bahá’í activities, Spiritual Assemblies, and committees—manifest freedom from prejudice in all its forms."
Universal House of Justice, 2020
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