The Damascus Road Antiracism Process was founded in 1995 as an initiative of Mennonite Central Committee U.S. The idea of incorporating Damascus Road as its own nonprofit organization surfaced at various times over the years beginning with a proposal that came out of Damascus Road’s advisory group in May 2003. But it wasn’t until September 2010, when MCC U.S. Anti-Racism Program staff and Damascus Road trainers met together that this discernment process came to the following conclusion:
After much discussion, prayerful reflection and discernment we felt God leading the Damascus Road Anti-Racism Process to become an independent organization, which we believe will be in the best interests of MCC and its own internal antiracism work and of Damascus Road and the broader work of antiracism in the church.
In November 2010 the MCC U.S. Board of Directors took action to bless the Damascus Road program as it sought independent status, joining other MCC programs that had spun off from the parent organization.
The Damascus Road Antiracism Process has always been dynamic, building on the solid foundation laid in the early stage of its history and growing in its understanding of what it means to dismantle racism. One of the lessons learned was that racism operates as part of an interlocking system of oppression that includes classism, sexism, heterosexism, age-ism, and other forms of oppression. This led to a commitment to broaden our work to include other systems of oppression.
At the same, we wanted to more effectively reach an audience beyond the Mennonite and Anabaptist communities that form the core of MCC’s constituency. So while we look forward to continuing our work within those constituencies, we also desire to reach out to other faith communities as well as secular and non-religious communities.
And so, Roots of Justice Inc., was formed in September 2012 to provide an institutional home for the continuing work of Damascus Road.