The Anti-Racism Team at Immanuel is a group of people who have committed themselves to the work of recognizing, naming and deconstructing racism in the church, and our world. They are committed to mutual accountability for their own personal growth as are intentional in sharing what they learn with our congregation. They are humble truth-tellers who claim no ultimate authority on this subject, positioning themselves as learners and seekers of justice. The team, with the support of Council is committed to hosting monthly conversations in the congregation and will respond to invitations beyond the congregation as they become available.
Some of the work we have done together is documented here, not as an authoritative curriculum but rather as a touch point of reference and a base line to give us a common vocabulary. This list is in reverse chronologicala order with the most recent learnings and resources listed first.
COMING TO WEAVING OUR STRENGTHS
Living into the Call, Challenge and Liberation of Allyship in the Public Square
As people of faith, we are called to stand with the poor and marginalized. It is a holy and sacred calling central to all faith traditions that manifests in a wide variety of ways. While there is no one perfect model for allyship, there are behaviors that are more or less likely to move us toward a destination of Liberation and Equity. Together we will name some of these challenges and find ways to move past them that keep us faithful to our values, calling and the cause of Justice for All. Presented by Pastor Priscilla Austin
Back to Basics
The team began the 2017-18 academic year with a session intended to ground the community in our various spiritual imperatives, some common vocabulary and illustrations of how that vocabulary manifests in this work.
- The Atlantic – Ta Nehisi Coates
- Crystal Paul – Books Every White Ally Should Read
- April Harter – The Harm in Not Confronting Friends and Family
- Katie Tastrom – Tips for White Parents Talking to Kids about Police Murders of Black People
- Bradley Shreve – Indigenous Peoples’ History Resource Guide
- Elizabeth Flock (PBS) – 5 Books by Women of Color
The Liberating Love of the Decolonize Movement
This retreat workshop was open to sister congregations and faith communities who, having taken seriously the work of deconstructing their own role in systems of power and privilege, are seeking ways to partner with others in action towards positive change.
Rev. Tuhina Rasche (#Decolonize Agitator) and the Rev. Priscilla Paris Austin (#Decolonize Adaptor) will guide a conversation about the #DecolonizeLutheranism that has been happening over past couple years in the ELCA and how it compels us to varied and unique activities in the quest for equity and justice in the church and beyond.
A Conversation on Sanctuary Leaders will share history of the Sanctuary Movement in this country and at ILC while providing context for conversations happening today.
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services: Be Not Afraid
Book Study: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
A Lutheran Lens for AntiRacism Work
In this session and throughout the season of Lent we reflect upon what lesson we might learn from the Augsburg Confession for our work while continuing the conversation about what it might mean to be Faithful PROTESTants.
Intersections of Race & _________
A continued conversation of how issues and challenges of racism are manifested in various social systems. Focal areas will be:
- Art and School
- Volunteer Service to address poverty
- Criminal Justice
- Talking with Family & Friends
Living into life as Faithful PROTESTants
Walking in the footsteps of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. we have table conversations about how we are called to put our Faith into Action. Table conversations will be themed around various issues and individuals will self-select an area and an action to which they feel drawn.
Black Lives Matter / Campaign Zero
A session in partnership with the Advocacy Team
- Janaya Khan, one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter Toronto, defining “Black Lives Matter” video
- Campaign Zero website:
- Detailed policy solutions, reports & research for the 10 points offered by the campaign
- Comprehensive policy agendas at the federal, state, and local level
- Analysis of the 2016 presidential candidates’ positions with regards to the 10 points
- The Guardian “The Counted: People killed by police in the U.S.”
- For 2016 and 2015; searchable database with individual stories; can also view on map
- Community Police Commission (City of Seattle)
Unpacking white Privilege
In this session we re-capped previous learnings and went deeper into the thinking that supports systemic racism. After watching the video we had table conversations to reflect on what we have learned and where we may go next
Intersectionality: Guest Speaker Rev. Rick Pibbernow – Open Door Ministries
We discussed the complexity of how –isms overlap particularly as it relates to issues of gender and sexual identity.
- From Teaching Tolerance – Intersectionality 101
- Laverne Cox talking about Intersectionality
- Lutheran Introduction to our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Neighbors
- Ally’s Guide to Terminology
The history of Whiteness
In the United States of America, there is a specific history behind the lie of “whiteness”. Together we unpack that history and name our own privilege.
- Video: Tim Wise White Like Me (we viewed first 20 minutes in session below is clip to full movie)
- Whiteness History Month by Jason Chesnut
- Historical Timeline of Race relations by Inez Torres Davis (Women of the ELCA)
- Reflection by Team Member Kevin Johnsen
Anti-Racism as a Spiritual Imperative
Grounding our conversation is a language of faith we discussed the whys of this work from our perspective as followers of Jesus.
- Primer for conversations on Racial Justice
- How to have Helpful Conversations about race in the church
When did you learn Your Race?
Taking time to understand our own social location, this question gives us the starting place for all other conversations. After the group had time to reflect on their own story the Team members shared and opened the space for additional stories