A Note from Melanie Varin UNITY Council, President June 2020
Given all of the social unrest, social posts, and news coverage about ongoing and recent tragic events associated with overt and covert racism, we have options.
We can ignore it.
We can watch as others decide to get involved.
We can embrace the cause for equality and then just as quickly forget about it.
Or we can intentionally and consistently learn what we don’t know and become a part of positive and systemic change.
Kind of sounds like the parable of the sower, doesn’t it?
The Council met in late June 2020 to explore our response to this situation. We agreed we needed to learn more and do more.
We decided to try some new avenues for creating dialog and building relationships with our brothers and sisters at Cross Lutheran
and Hephatha Lutheran, our urban Milwaukee partners. We also agreed to share insightful resources as we found them. In addition,
we may consider some forums or book clubs that focus on topics that will help us learn about and recognize injustices so we can
become better advocates for equality.
We don’t have all the answers. This is a journey. It will be awkward. It may be uncomfortable at times. It will be eye-opening.
It may spark debate. It will not give us the chance to walk in the shoes of our Black peers, but it will likely increase our
appreciation for their experience. And like any significant journey, we know it will change us.
If you have ideas and energy to be part of a group working to develop deeper relationships with our partners, please let one
of the pastors or a member of Council know. We will all benefit from your energy and a range of perspectives. If you have access
to great resources, let us know. We’ll start sharing them.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to learn and make a difference. Let’s embrace this journey together! We are in it for the long haul!
Our Ministry Partners
As opportunities to work with and be present with our partners present themselves, do not put it off or
assume others will do it. We have long-standing relationships with two congregations that would love to go
deeper with us. Let’s reciprocate the love!
It’s About Access, Not Personal Motivation: Health Care and Race
This episode of Black Nouveau aired originally on Channel 10 in Milwaukee on July 9. It features four stories
including that of the patients of one of our partners, the Bread of Healing Free Clinic. Barbara Horner-Ibler
is among those interviewed. Her observation on how access reduces health care risk is especially important in a
time when the Black community is at 3 times the risk of contracting COVID as the population at large. The twenty
year history of the clinic (and many like it) demonstrate that access leads to demonstrably better outcomes,
even as our society lags in finding ways to make access a reality for so many people of color.
This is a wonderful short (~12 minute) video between Emmanuel Acho,
former linebacker from the Cleveland Brown and Philadelphia Eagles, and academy award winner, Matthew McConaughey.
They share a brief dialog in a YouTube video called “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man – Episode 2”.
Watch and be enlightened!
An interview with the Black, Catholic priest, Bryan Massingale. Thoughtful, honest and faith-based in talking about
topics that don’t have to be “political” when they are more “spiritual” in nature anyway.
Short video clip just taken from a conference where Neil Degrasse Tyson answers a question from
he floor about the obstacles that hold women and people of color back from study and careers in science.
Movie about a free Black man’s kidnapped turn into slavery. Available on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play and other media.
The following is a trailer for the movie.
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
by Isabel Wilkerson
The history of the migration of Black citizens fleeing the South for better lives in northern and western cities.