By Andrew Morley, World Vision International President & CEO
The senseless killing of George Floyd, and the appalling scenes of racial injustice that continue around the world every single day, are heart-breaking. I have wept alongside our brothers and sisters whose lives have been torn apart by the scourge of racism.
And I stand in solidarity with my Black colleagues against the injustices of racism and oppression. This drives right to the core of the founding statement of World Vision: “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”
For there is no doubt that racial injustice breaks the heart of God. It is abhorrent and it goes against everything we stand for as a Christian organisation.
How can your heart not be broken when children like Siplae, 13, from Cambodia, tell us: “I was isolated by my friends. They mocked me because of my darker skin and curly hair.” Or by 16-year-old Armando, from Colombia, who told us recently: “Many people think we’re thieves,” simply because of their race.
We want to live in a world where we can truthfully tell our children that racism has been consigned to the history books – not that they must live it in the present.
I acknowledge right now that much, if not all, of my contributions to this conversation will be imperfect. As a privileged white man based in London, I am acutely aware of this reality. I must call this out, and I must take every step to listen – to listen well, and to hear – the pain that many of my beloved colleagues and those we serve, have been enduring not just today, but their whole lives.
I pledge to speak from the heart on this issue, and to move forward on the challenging conversation we must all have. I will make mistakes, yet I will do everything in my power to learn on the way.
Finally and importantly, I have seen the beast of poverty first hand – and the beast of poverty is deeply racist. It disproportionately impacts people of colour – and we must recognise this as we push on with our mission to fight poverty and to transform the lives of the most vulnerable girls and boys.
World Vision is an organisation representing faith, hope and love for every person in this world (1 Corinthians 13) – and we must call on these attributes more than ever right now. We are all brothers and sisters, every single one of us made in the beautiful image of God.
We are called to listen to those who are oppressed. We must hope and pray for equality, peace, and reconciliation as one Body of Christ.
More about our position on ending racial injustice.