The purpose of the Racial Justice Summit is to bring together stakeholders (officers, soldiers, staff) of The Salvation Army together to address the critical issue of Racism. We seek to transform The Salvation Army from a church that has not done all that it could do to dismantle racism, to one that fights intentionally and vigorously for diversity, inclusion and anti-racism. By holding this summit, we, The Salvation Army, acknowledge the need for more open and honest dialogue on race, seek discernment from God and those most impacted by this issue and to help The Salvation Army in the Central Territory to carve out a clear and decisive pathway toward the same type of “unified diversity” that is reflected in the Trinity.
“…you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.” Isaiah 58:12b, NIV “For He himself is our peace, who made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,” Ephesians 2:14, NIV
Led by the Spirit, we will move forward together toward a diverse, inclusive and anti-racist Army in the Central Territory.
It is our desire that the delegates in attendance, as well as those attending virtually, will walk away feeling changed and empowered to continue the conversation about racism in their respective divisions and Corps and actively work toward amplifying the Kingdom value of greater diversity, inclusion and anti-racism. Outcomes include:
- Renew organizational commitment to fight against systemic racism.
- Increase the capacity of Salvationists in the Central Territory to address racists system and structures, both within the Army and in society; with a view toward greater unity in the body and mission effectiveness.
- Create space for new ideas and fresh approaches to increasing greater diversity and inclusion to surface during the Summit and upon the delegates return to their respective divisions/commands.
- Provide a safe and structured way to examine systems and structure of the Army that are keeping ethnic minorities from full participation and advancement in The Salvation Army Central Territory.
- Create policies and practices where the Army can stand together, work together and struggle together for racial justice.
- Promote the Kingdom value of ethnic diversity and inclusiveness in all expressions of Salvation Army life.
Major Dr. Marion Platt, III
Major Marion Platt was born and raised in Charleston, SC. Having attended The Salvation Army as a child, he participated in the Adventure Corps Program and attended summer camps every year. After graduation from high-school, Marion quickly enlisted in the US Army, serving two enlistments as an infantryman in the 10th Mountain Division; he later earned a doctoral degree from Trevecca Nazarene University. After being honorably discharged from the US Army, he met his wife, Everette.
Dr. Christena Cleveland
Christena Cleveland Ph.D. is a social psychologist, public theologian, author, and activist. She is the founder and director of the recently-launched Center for Justice + Renewal, a non-profit dedicated to helping justice advocates sharpen their understanding of the social realities that maintain injustice while also stimulating the soul’s enormous capacity to resist and transform those realities. Committed to leading both in scholarly settings and in the public square, Christena writes regularly, speaks widely, and consults with organizations.
Dr. Soong-Chan Rah
For Dr. Rah, engaging in urban ministry is a passion. “The urban environment is complex, constantly changing, and always challenging.” His classes enable students to identify the skills necessary for practicing sociology-cultural analysis, expanding their understanding of the relationship between the church and the urban setting. “Anytime we can deepen the theology, it’s a good thing. Also important are spiritual formation and discipleship. All of these serve to strengthen our work,” says Dr. Rah.