End Rampant Racism in Churches and Christian Schools

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Raven Thibodeaux
Raven Thibodeaux signed this petition

Over the last few weeks, over 120 BIPOC alumni from Anchorage Christian Schools (ACS) and members of its parent organization Anchorage Baptist Temple (ABT) have exposed decades of racial discrimination and abuse perpetrated by ACS and ABT faculty members. These stories, shared on a FB thread, highlight how commonplace racism has been at ACS/ABT for generations of students. Testimonies include:

  • Faculty members calling students racial slurs like "monkey,” "beaner," and "jungle boy,” even telling Black and Korean students they “smell bad.” 
  • Coaches and staff allowing and even defending students who would racially harass their black peers. 
  • Multiple incidents of white coaches physically assaulting Black student athletes. 
  • Faculty tolerating the common use of the N-word by white students.
  • A Black student being "auctioned off" as a "Slave for a Day" as a fundraiser. 
  • A white student being in blackface for Spirit Week with no consequences.
  • Racist ideologies, such as the Civil War not being about slavery and Manifest Destiny,  were taught in classrooms.
  • Students who attempted to confront abuses being kicked off sports teams or being given negative university recommendation letters.
  • Minority parents who expressed their concerns being met with dismissiveness or blocked from confronting abusive faculty.

Similarly, Anchorage Baptist Temple has a history of racial issues. Nothing typifies this history quite like their segregated Sunday school class.

  • ABT sends buses to many lower income areas, with mostly minority residents, and brings children in through the back of the church.  
  • The children who drive in with their families, mainly white, go to classes of their own, and the two groups do not interact or even learn the same lessons or songs. 
  • If the bus children are brought into the main auditorium for a special guest speaker, they are placed in the balcony in a corner and watched by several adults, separated from the rest of the congregation. 

We are trying to effect real change in the private education community in Anchorage and our Alaskan community as a whole. It is our desire to stand for black lives and against racial injustice. We cannot do that while ignoring the decades of discrimination we were victim to as children, perpetrated and perpetuated by ABT / ACS. Here are handful of changes we are pushing to make happen: 

  • Combine the children's Sunday school classes.
  • Mandatory race and cultural sensitivity training for church and school faculty and staff.
  • “Zero Tolerance” for racial slurs or harassment written into school policy. 
  • Expand textbook education to include minority American history, especially in regards to black oppression.
  • Increase diversity in the faculty.

Please sign this petition and help us in urging ABT/ACS to make needed changes to protect students from racism.