With 25 denominations representing some one million adherents, the Minnesota Council of Churches has embarked on a 10-year plan to tell the truth and educate about racism in Minnesota and offer reparations to black and indigenous communities harmed by it.
According to Jim Winkler, president of the National Council of Churches, he has never seen an anti-racism plan like the one laid out by the MCC.
“There’s a lot of anti-racism work going on,” Winkler told the Star Tribune. “But I haven’t seen a plan as systematically laid out as the Minnesota council has done.”
The statewide “truth and reparation” plan, first announced in October, is modeled on the principles of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa. The Rev. Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the MCC and also a former professor of reconciliation studies who traveled frequently to South Africa to study its Truth and Reconciliation Commission, also said the plan is unprecedented.
“This is a historic moment for the Minnesota Council of Churches,” he said.