“We have noticed an unfortunate trend in church attendance. Despite thirty-plus years of formal equality, African-American members are still severely underrepresented in church attendance in the United States. In contrast, white church members are highly overrepresented. This may be because of differences in innate spirituality between the demographic groups. Or, it may be due to social forces. Regardless, it is a problem which must be addressed.
Starting immediately and until further notice, all Priesthood leadership in the United States at the ward, stake, and general level will be drawn solely from African-American church members. This will provide additional incentive for members of this group to attend church. It is not a disproportionate advantage for African-Americans (nor a disadvantage for white church members) because of course all church leadership callings are simply opportunities for service. We are happy to provide our African-American members with this opportunity for service, and are confident that they will serve well in leadership callings. Other church members may continue to serve in non-leadership roles, including Scout callings and the activities committee.”