Thursday, June 04, 2020

From Camp Quest: Black Lives Matter

An email from the Camp Quest National Support Center, sent to supporters on 6-4-20:

Black Lives Matter.

Our children deserve better. They deserve to live in a country where democracy is respected. Where all people, regardless of the color of their skin, can live with freedom and dignity. They deserve a future untainted by white supremacy, injustice, poverty, and violence. We can do better. We must do better.

Camp Quest condemns all violence inflicted on black people. We grieve with you for the thousands of black people murdered, and we are outraged that Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd are now among them. We condemn the institutional racism that has perpetuated the trauma inflicted on black communities, and we deplore the racism and inequities experienced by minority groups and black people in our own secular movement. 

Our hearts are hurting this summer especially because we are unable to come together at camp. The COVID-19 crisis has made a disproportionate impact on communities of color, and it has made an unprecedented impact on our camp network, campers, families, and volunteers. Though we are apart, we stand together in solidarity during this time of national pain and mourning. Members of our camp communities from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to DC have protested this week, and we will continue to show up, speak out, and demand justice.

We are committed to helping children live authentically, with empathy for others who are different from themselves. Children thrive when they are given the freedom to think for themselves – to explore our universe without fear, free from intimidation and indoctrination. Teaching children that people are more important than beliefs will help make this world a safer and more peaceful place for all. 

In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to provide campers opportunities to connect with each other and share their thoughts and feelings during this difficult time. We will also be sharing resources for campers that center black lives and black experiences, because Black Lives Matter

One way that you can make meaningful change is to donate to organizations that support black communities and those that advocate for black people. Please consider supporting Black Nonbelievers, one of our partner organizations in the Secular Coalition for America.

Headquartered in the Atlanta area, Black Nonbelievers are dedicated to providing a caring, festive, friendly, and informative community. BN connects with other Blacks (and allies) who are living free of religion and other beliefs, and might otherwise be shunned by family and friends. Donate here

Supporting BN is just one of many things that we can do to combat this crisis. Educating ourselves and our children on racism and white privilege, reading books that celebrate racial diversity, and learning about anti-racist activism are just a few ways families can engage in anti-racist work together.

Campers can also join us for a special conversation on June 19th at 1pm EDT with BN founder Mandisa Thomas to learn more about Black Nonbelievers.

We are confident that in circumstances like these that our camp community can come together to put humanist values into action by supporting Black Nonbelievers. We also invite you to stay connected with us however you can – whether through our Camp Quest at Home activities, on Facebook, by email, or a simple phone call or text. We want you to know that we are here for you, and that we care.

Camp Quest Support Center
Kim Newton, Executive Director
Sarah Bingham Miller, Development Director
Mary Sullivan, Program Manager