From the Desk of Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez - Affirmative Action
Editor's Note: The following email was sent to United Methodists of Upper New York on behalf of Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez on June 30, 2023.
“Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out.”
Isaiah 1:17a (MSG)
Dear siblings in Christ,
As United Methodists, we are called to work for peace and justice for God’s children.
The construct of race and the inequities and privileges born out of it harm people of color and make it extremely difficult for many to develop to their full God-given potential.
Racism is the sinful belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another. Racism directly opposes the truth that we are all perfectly and beautifully created in the image of our Creator. From this sinful construct, racist systems and structures have been built in our society over time to create unfair advantages for some people.
Affirmative action is a practice and policy that seeks to help balance opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups subjected to discrimination. The recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States does away with the practice and policies of affirmative action, which have allowed countless children of God historically labeled as “minorities” to have equitable access to education and job opportunities – including me.
As United Methodists, we assert that “given the tenacity of many forms of racism, sexism, and ableism – both blatant and subtle – the concept of affirmative action retains its relevance as part of an overall effort to create a more just and equitable social system” (BOR 3373).
United Methodists of Upper New York are committed to eradicating the sin of racism.
- Through our Imagine No Racism, we seek to increase the leadership capacity among our disciples and servant leaders to intercept and dismantle racist beliefs, systems, and policies in the church and society. You can learn how your congregation can participate in the INR here.
- Also, through Shared Ministries Giving, as United Methodists, we support many programs and scholarships that empower students, especially those from low-income families, and aim to eradicate the sin of racism.
- Locally, through the Buffalo 10 Scholarship, we assist deserving students to attend college.
- In addition, we are blessed by the witness and ministry of many United Methodist congregations in UNY that serve in rural, urban, and other disadvantaged settings.
The recent decision on affirmative action will make what is already a difficult task harder in our society. Yet, as followers of Christ and United Methodists, we remain committed to the principles of mercy, justice, and equity embodied by Jesus and will actively continue to advocate and work for a more just world - one person, one community at a time.
“God has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8 (NIV)
May the prophet's words embolden us to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and be God’s love to our neighbors in all places.
Together in the journey,
Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez
The United Methodist Church
Serving United Methodist of Upper New York