United in Christ, Together in Ministry!

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UNITY Lutheran Church

Racism Resources


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A Note from Melanie Varin
UNITY Council, President
July 2020

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!

Click here 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!

Video

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, 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 (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.

Black Nouveau

Video

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!

Video

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.


Video

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.

Video

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.

Book

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.


Order this book from a black-owned bookstore.

Book

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander

A detailed look at the variety of legal mechanisms (arrest, sentencing, incarceration) that result in disproportionate numbers of Black people in prison for disproportionately long times.


Order this book from a black-owned bookstore.

Book

Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Written as a father talking to his son about what it’s like to be a Black man in our world.


Order this book from a black-owned bookstore.

Books

Thirteen books about race and diversity from PBS Kids to add to family libraries

Books

Jabari Jumps

Books

Jabari Jumps
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