Dec 11, 2014
I feel I owe a clear statement to the community about my resignation from the Covenant of the Goddess organization. After 8 years of membership, I have come to a place where I am compelled to align myself with organizations that have a clear message of supporting justice and equity for marginalized people. And while I am a supporter of equity in all areas, identifying the hugely disproportionate rates of violence and death at the hands of law enforcement against unarmed Black people has to be addressed right now. Black and Brown people deserve more than passive attempts at acknowledging the historic oppression and trauma that they face.
Paganism is expanding to include more and more people of color who are practitioners of our community, but currently struggling to acknowledge the ways to acknowledge them within Paganism and their struggles in society. And the community is often apathetic to the challenges we face, the culture of dismissal of our pain, and putting action in motion to actively support equity.
After much discussion, Covenant of the Goddess was not able to release a statement in support of Black people who are suffering under the oppressive systems of militarization of the police, the prison industrial complex, and systemic racism in this country. Over 40 statements were made by organizations in the community, with most of them naming Black people as the victims of such disparity and harm. CoG was not able to do that and released a statement against the consensus of the members of their organization; Further marginalizing those who are people of color within the organization and the Pagan community. As a result my coven resigned from the organization.
Many COG members wanted a clear and concise statement against this oppression, and tried to be true allys against injustice for POC. They too were disappointed by the statement that was released. I honor those who fought to have this statement reflect the needs of those it was meant to serve.
Below is the resignation letter of my coven. I have no desire to speak against individuals in CoG. I have a lot of respect for many people in the organization. My issue is the structures of apathy, aversive racism, and structural bias that live out in organizations that have not adapted to the needs of a growing and changing community.
My attempt at transparency here is to be clear of what I put my name behind, and after 8 years of membership and support of CoG, I need to be clear that I do not support their statement and I am no longer a member.
In search of justice and right action,
As a result, the Circle of Ancestral Magic effectively resigns immediately from the Covenant of the Goddess organization. It is important for us to be in organizations that are working WITH diversity and putting that above issues of catering to discomfort. As I am a Black woman, I do not have a choice to ignore being Black, and it is an insult that COG insists on doing just that to the marginalized populations within the organization.