Working With Faith Leaders to Support All Our Children
July 30, 2012 by HRC staff
The following is from Rhonda Thomason, the Southern Regional Consultant for HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools.
In Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, Montgomery and across the nation I have witnessed faith leaders stepping forward to affirm that no one has to give up their religion to serve all our children equally. They recognize that, with all their differences, complexity, and wonder, they are all our children.
In Dallas, I met with a group of minsters who told me that Welcoming schools adds an important focus currently missing in their religious education programs. Several of the ministers are now developing a process to integrate components of Welcoming Schools into existing religious education curricula.
Another minister reached out to his children’s school to encourage them to become a Welcoming Schools pilot. Others have offered to host Welcoming Schools interfaith meetings at their churches and share the good news of Welcoming Schools with friends and colleagues, including professors at schools of theology.
While legislation and enumerated anti-bullying policies are vitally important, we often look beyond politics and policies to our faith leaders and places of worship for guidance on how to respond to the active tension of being human in a diverse and evolving world.
Each and every day, more and more faith leaders aspire to make schools a safe and affirming haven.
They guide us with words like harmony, equity, civility and love.
And they teach us to articulate and spread the language we already hold in our heart, the loving message that all our children matter.