On Saturday, March 25 from 12 – 2 p.m., the Episcopal Diocese of New York will gather for a Service of Apology for Slavery at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue (at 112th Street).
This event is taking place because of the church’s historical ties to the slave trade. “Churches in the city were constructed by the labor of enslaved African Americans whose descendants were routinely refused equal participation in worship, even after Emancipation,” a statement from St. John the Divine explains.
In addition to the “ritual atonement” represented by the service, the Diocese has also pledged to continue the fight against racism with a $1.1 million investment which its Reparations Commission will use to “work to repair the historic and contemporary damage done to people of African descent.”
We followed up to ask how the money would be spent. A church representative said they’d be “analyzing how [to best] put the funds towards ongoing racial reconciliation in the Diocese. The $1.1 million will help support their work as they continue to build upon the Service of Apology and beyond.”