Racial categories in reports to OGA will be changing

Idea is to better reflect PC(USA) diversity

June 24, 2016

Portland

The annual statistical reports Presbyterian congregations file with the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) will be changing, primarily in the racial classifications used.

The Presbytery of Elizabeth submitted an overture asking for the revisions, but the 222nd General Assembly (2016) voted Thursday to refer the request to OGA, which is already reviewing the classifications. The referral specifically asks OGA to work with the General Assembly Committee on Representation to determine the best way to make the changes before the 223rd General Assembly (2018).

Refining the categories is significant, and needs to more clearly reflect the denomination’s diversity, said Mary Lou Cox, chair of the General Assembly Procedures Committee.

“This is about privilege,” Cox said. “It is about what we say, and who gets to say it.

The Assembly also approved benchmarks for diversity in employment and in choice of suppliers.

Other assembly actions on the committee’s recommendations are available on PC-Biz at  https://www.pc-biz.org/#/committee/557/business.

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