The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada has recently announced a model for worshiping communities, especially majority-white worshiping communities, to engage in antiracist practices in a tangible and monetized way. This non-prescriptive guide outlines a threefold process by which such communities can participate in a reparations royalty program. Participant communities allocate royalty payments for usage of music from black, indigenous, and other persons of color (BIPOC) composers and traditions to directly support BIPOC artists, musicians, and communities.
While based on financial reparations, the program’s stated hopes and dreams include:
- providing a catalyst for beginning and/or deepening relationships between majority white congregations and BIPOC as they work toward God’s kindom on earth;
- helping majority (demographically and/or culturally) white congregations understand how much they already rely on and/or are blessed by the musics of other peoples & cultures in worship;
- helping majority (demographically and/or culturally) white congregations understand how and why our musical cultures are interrelated and interdependent, including a deepening understanding and recognition of the ongoing impact of colonization;
- joining in de-centering whiteness and re-centering God’s vision for a beloved community;
- inspiring and supporting both spiritual and structural transformation for all involved;
- financially and spiritually blessing current day BIPOC artists and organizations.
This program provides a programmatic mechanism by which majority-white communities can take active, antiracist steps, and broaden their understanding of reparations to use financial payment as a catalyst for expanding God’s beloved community.
Interested parties will find more information here.