A Note from Melanie Varin UNITY Council, President
Journey With Us?
Kind of sounds like the parable of the sower, doesn’t it?
The Council met in late June 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.
As I read these words, I have to admit I need to think more critically about the biases I hold,
so that I can more proactively work toward being anti-racist. As I look to Jesus as my ultimate
example, I am reminded of a song I learned as a child:
[Below] is an example to get us started. It’s a wonderful, short (approx. 12 minute) video between Emmanuel Acho,
former linebacker from the Cleveland Browns 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!
Perhaps, in light of the fact that we are really on a skin color spectrumcof ivory to dark brown,
we should change the lyrics to:
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!
for more thoughts by Melanie Varin on Anti-Racism resources.
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 on Channel 10 in Milwaukee on July 9, 2020. 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 20-year
history of the clinic 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.
Thirteen books about race and diversity from PBS Kids to add to family libraries