Racial Justice

For information about the Colorado Community Remembrance Project, please scroll down. 

Our Mission

The mission of the Race Task Force is to address and deconstruct the institutional and structural racism in the leadership bodies of the church and our broader society. Following Diocesan Convention in 2017, in response to feedback, we are in the process of adding additional dimensions to our mission.

Our Story

Formed following the Episcopal Church in Colorado’s Annual Convention in 2016, the Race Task Force first spent time sharing our stories, practicing  vulnerability to build a foundation of trust, modeling  a way of interacting that we believe should characterize this work. Working from that base of trust and vulnerability, we got to work researching the role race continues to play in  disparities of income, health, and quality of life in Colorado. A year after our formation, two of our members Chair of the Race Task Force Darren Armstrong and the Rev. Cn. Ruth Woodliff-Stanley shared their disparate stories of early childhood in Mississippi at Diocesan Convention after which they shared our findings on race in Colorado detailed in the next section. The Race Task Force has now begun organizing new members into three teams: leadership and vision, education, and research.

Our Findings

Presented at the Episcopal Church in Colorado’s Annual Convention in 2017, our findings demonstrate how race and racial inequality directly correlate in issues of education, income, employment, healthcare, and incarceration. These findings can be seen in the gallery below:

The Race Task Force will continue its work equipping faith communities to boldly and prophetically address racism in their neighborhoods, communities, and state.

Get Involved

Numerous individuals have expressed interest in joining our efforts. We welcome everyone who wants to join us. If you would like to learn more about the work of the Race Task Force or would like to become more involved in its work, contact  Anthony Suggs at advocacy@episcopalcolorado.org

Colorado Community Remembrance Project

The Colorado Community Remembrance Project (CCRP) was formed in 2018 to create opportunities for learning about, mourning, and memorializing Colorado’s history of racial violence and to advance the work of the Equal Justice Initiative [EJI], which opened the Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama in April of that year. Through education, community connection, and public remembrance, we hope to give Coloradans a more complete and just understanding of their history and the impact it has on our present.

EJI’s Community Remembrance Project

In order to memorialize the African American victims of racial terror lynching the EJI also introduced their Community Remembrance Project. It encourages US communities to remember the victims of racial terror lynching that occurred in their counties. They do this by collecting soil from the site of the lynching, and by erecting a historical marker to remember the  victim, whose life was taken in this brutal way.

The CCRP began its work by forming a Denver/Limon coalition to memorialize the lynching of Preston “John” Porter Jr.

Preston Porter Jr., a fifteen-year-old Black boy, was burned to death at Lake Station, near Limon, Colorado in Lincoln County on November 16, 1900 for allegedly raping and murdering Louise Frost, a local farm girl. Prior to that he had been held and tortured in Denver until officials turned him over to Lincoln County authorities, who did nothing to stop his lynching. He never received a legal trial and his guilt was never proven. He was one of thousands of Black people lynched in the United States in the decades after the Civil War as part of an intense campaign on the part of White supremacists to dehumanize and control Black people.

Soil Collection

Soil was collected in November 2018 at the site of the old City Hall in Denver, where Preston Porter Jr. was held and tortured, and near Limon at the approximate site of his lynching.

A Soil Collection Ceremony was held in Limon on Saturday, November 16th 2018.

Soil Collection Exhibit Opening

There will be a Soil Collection Exhibit Opening at Denver’s Blair-Caldwell Library, 2401 Welton St. Denver CO 80205, on Friday, April 24th 2020, from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. It will feature a presentation/discussion as well as the exhibit opening, which will have soil from the collection and other artifacts.

Historical Marker

On Saturday, November 14th, 2020, a historical marker will be erected in Creekfront Park at 1300 Larimer St in downtown Denver, close to the site of the old City Hall.

Racial Justice Essay Contest

The Equal Justice Initiative also sponsors essay contests for high school students in counties where historical markers are being placed to memorialize victims of lynching.

The essay contest will be open to all Denver Public Schools [DPS] students in grades 9 – 12 and will be on the topic of our nation’s history of racial inequality.

It will take place from August 15th – October 15th, 2020. Information will be provided by teaching staff in all DPS High Schools, and there will also be a link to the essay contest website.

Each contest provides $6000 in scholarships for college.

Please check back here to get more information about the Dedication Ceremony for the Historical Marker in November and to get the link to the essay contest website, which will be available in the next few months. You can also stay up to date by liking and following our facebook page here