June 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the priesthood and temple ban. Although the ban is behind us, it has left lasting legacies in our faith community. We are writing to ask for your help in encouraging others to prepare for this upcoming anniversary using the resources at Shouldertothewheel.org.
Shoulder to the Wheel is an effort to spur reflection, conversation, and education on racism in LDS communities and the world around us, put together by a diverse group of LDS people.
The site features a pledge form with about a dozen different ways LDS people can take action to honor the 40th.
There is also a 16-page downloadable resource guide developed with the input of leading voices in our community that takes a deeper dive into understanding racism in Mormonism and the world around us.
This year presents a unique opportunity to address what has been a source of regret, and hurt, and we hope you will consider making it a focus of your efforts on your blog or podcast or in your FB group at some point. We are asking you as someone who has the capacity to influence others for good:
1. Will you personally pledge today to put your shoulder to the wheel in honor of the 40th?
2. Will you share the shoulder to the wheel website with a personal message in your wall or feed?
3. Will you encourage members of your blog community or FB group to pledge and set group pledge goals or group activities if appropriate? Or, if you are a podcast host, will you dedicate an episode to this effort? Or, if you are speaking at a public event, will you mention the effort in your opening to your remarks?
4. Will you write a brief–200 word–pitch about “why I am putting my shoulder to the wheel” that we can feature on our blog and in social media?
We know that racism can be a difficult subject but we believe that everyone has a responsibility to address it, and we believe that working from LDS scriptures and LDS Church resources we can spur conversation that will bear good fruits.
If you would like to talk to or interview a member of the steering committee for an article, podcast, or blog piece, we can connect you with Melissa Inouye, Emily Jensen, or Fatimah Salleh. If you have questions, please check out shouldertothewheel.org or let us know.
Sincerely, on behalf of the steering committee,
Cynthia Bailey Lee
Rebecca de Schweinitz