ECLC Racial Justice History



I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness. by Austin Channing Brown

Love Big: The Power of Revolutionary Relationships to Heal the World by Rozella Haydee White


Dec 15
La Pasada! We Come Bearing Peace
St. Paul's Lutheran Church

Dec 14
Christmas Store
Redeemer Lutheran Church

Nov 16
Blanket Ceremony with Prairie Rose Seminole
Redeemer Lutheran Church

Oct 18
Redeemer Center for Life Sip 'n Paint
Utepils Brewing

Oct 5
Redeemer Center for Life Gala
International Market Square

Oct 2019 - Nov 2020
Seeing White Podcasts
14 Month Study Group with 40 members

Sep 19
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. by Rev. Lenny Duncan
St. Paul Book Launch Party
Luther Seminary

Sep 10
Intercultural Development Inventory
Racial Justice Action & Advocacy Team

August 21
Redeemer Block Party
Redeemer Lutheran Church

August 14
Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists
Minneapolis Instutute of Arts

July 31
Redeemer Backyard Neighborhood Cookout
Redeemer Lutheran Church

July 20
Fort Snelling at B'Dote Lecture
MN Historical Society
Fort Snelling

July 12
Lights for Liberty Candlelight Vigil
Whipple Federal Building 



Sept 15
Felicia Boone, Vice President, Mpls Area Synod
At the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly a statement, “Declaration of the ELCA to people of African Descent,” was presented. Our guest explored her reaction to this document from her perspective as a life-long Lutheran of African descent, shared stories from her own experiences, and engaged us in discussion.

July 28
Pastor Kelly Chatman from Redeemer Lutheran Church

Oct 13
Pastor Conchi from our Cristo De Paz Lutheran Church in El Salvador

Dec 2
Pastor Babette Chatman from Redeemer Lutheran Church

May 19 
Long Journey Home with Robert Coleman, thegentlemanartist 
Robert Coleman, artist-in-residence at Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis, will share his beautiful paintings and personal story of blessing, struggle, and overcoming. Robert discovered his unique God-given gifts when he began drawing at 36 and painting at 49. Join us to learn more about Robert's journey and his deep calling to spend his days in service through teaching and art-making in the Harrison neighborhood.

May 12 
Minnesota Freedom Fund 
Tonja Honsey and Octavia Smith of the Minnesota Freedom Fund will present an overview of the role of bail in the Hennepin County and Minnesota justice systems. The role Minnesota Freedom Fund plays to keep people out of jail while waiting for their time in court, and identify ways ECLC can participate in and support their efforts as volunteers, in advocacy, and through financial support.

April 7 
Beacon Interfaith Housing 
Our congregation worked closely with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative to provide important leadership for the creation of 66 West, an affordable housing project for young adults in Edina. Kat Vann, a congregational organizer with Beacon, will share an update on 66 West.

March 31 
Housing Discrimination 
What roles have Lutherans specifically played in the history of racist and anti-Semitic housing discrimination in Minnesota? Luther Seminary Ph.D. candidate Katherine Parent has been digging into this local history in her dissertation and will lead an interactive workshop where we explore our churches’ stories together.

March 24 
Homelessness in Native Communities 
Last year, the homeless encampment along Hiawatha and Franklin Avenues, known as The Wall of Forgotten Natives, became a very visible reminder of urban homelessness in our community. Adam Fairbanks, a member of the White Earth Nation, will speak about his work as a consultant for the Red Lake Nation.


September 30 
Black and Blue: Exploring the Tension between Communities of Color and Law Enforcement 
Jason Sole, past President of Minneapolis NAACP, Educator, and Author of From Prison to Phd: Memoir of Hope, Resilience, and Second Chances Paul Schnell, Chief of Police, Inver Grove Heights, Educator, and Mediator.

October 7 
Reconciliation: The Real Work of Racial Justice 
Pastor Babette Chatman, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Educator and Trainer.

October 14 
Oh Freedom: Our Long Journey Towards Justice 
Ms. Wanda Battle, Tour Guide Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, Gospel Singer, and Educator.

October 28 
The Invention of Race: How Did We Get Here? 
Dr. Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, Associate Professor of English and Director of Race and Ethnic Studies at St. Olaf College, Educator, Poet, and Writer

November 11
Re-Imagining & Mobilizing White People for Anti-Racism 
Dr. Timothy Lensmire, University of Minnesota Professor, Educator, and Author of White Folks: Race & Identity in Rural America


Love Big: The Power of Revolutionary Relationships to Heal the World - July 23

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness - August 22 2018 


Congregational Book Read
Another Brooklyn: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson


March 19
Racial Justice Liaison Gathering 
University Lutheran Church of Hope, Minneapolis

May 19
Prophetic: Amplifying Queer & Colorful Voices 
Westwood Lutheran Church, Edina Community Lutheran Church, Minneapolis North High School

June 3
Justice Choir Community Sing with Tesfa Wondamagegnehu & Pastor Dwayne Davis 
Edina Community Lutheran Church

July 29 
Standing in Solidarity with St. Paul's Lutheran Church
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church

August 15
16th Annual Redeemer Block Party Redeemer Lutheran Church
Redeemer Lutheran Church

October, 2018 - June, 2019 
Sacred Solidarity Network Training
SpringHouse Ministry Center

October 27
Redeemer Center for Life 20th Anniversary Gala
Loppet Trailhead 


Do Justice Conversations
Open Letter to Colin Kaepernick by Nate Boyer

October 2017 
Redlining: The racist housing policy from the Jim Crow era that still affects us today

October 2017
Council completes IDI and meets with Synod Racial Justice Organizer Jaddie Edwards and Rev. Steve Bonesho
Created Action/Advocacy, Education, and Institutional Change task forces

September 2017 
Sunday Forum with Rev. Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds regarding Race and Racism

August 2017
Vigil Against White Supremacy in support of Charlottesville

May 2017 
Letter to St. Olaf College Administration in support of The Collective for Change on the Hill

March/April 2017
Forum discussing MLK’s Letter From Birmingham Jail

March 2017
Racial Justice/Do Justice Conversations on the 3rd Sunday of the month

February/March 2017 
Living Room Conversation Circles on Environment, Racial & Social Justice

February 2017 
Racial Justice Statement adopted by congregation (written February 2016)

February 2017
Youth lead Advent Vespers, incorporating songs of freedom from the Civil Rights Movement

January 2017 
Author Sun Yung Shin presentation on A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota: 6 Principles of Nonviolence & 8 White Identities

December 2016
Council recommended including Racial Justice Statement on agenda for adoption at Congregational Annual Meeting

November 2016
A group of 40 members gathered with the Edina Mayer, City Council member, Edina Schools, and community members to discuss how we can best support race and equity initiatives in Edina.

October 2016 
Letter to Edina City Council regarding Edina Police and black pedestrian Larnie Thomas

October 2016
15 members attended a worship on white privilege in the church at Holy Trinity Lutheran in South Minneapolis creating a plan to adopt our Racial Justice statement, and examine policies and practices as a congregation.

October 2016
Adult Forum by Lecia Brooks from Southern Poverty Law Center

September 2016 
Forum on White Fragility, video with Dr. Robin DiAngelo

July 2016
ECLC Youth Pilgrimage to the deep south

May 2016 
Resolution on Racial Justice adopted by Minneapolis Area Synod

May 2016
Brought a resolution to the Minneapolis Area Synod that congregations start talking about race and create their own statements

April 2016
Pastor appointed leadership team to help steer our education and action

April 2016
Congregation book read - Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

March 2016
23 ECLC members completed the Intercultural Developmental Inventory (IDI). Our group scored in the “Minimization” developmental orientation.

January 2016
Workshop on Oppression with YWCA Vice President for Racial Justice

September 2015
Forum on Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow

July 2015
In response to the growing unrest in our country regarding racial profiling, police shootings, hate crimes, and increased harmful rhetoric, a group of ECLC members interested inn racial justice began meeting.


List of action steps developed by Anti-Racism Team – regarding worship, education, the building, mission, outreach, community relations

First meeting of ECLC Anti-Racism Leadership Team – 17 members

Tasked with review of ECLC history from racial/ethnic perspective, included interviews, internal and external documentation review

Video “Shadow of Hate” shown at adult forum

Leadership Team commissioned during the worship service

Council position created for Liaison to the Anti-Racism team

Some members participated in advanced anti-racism training in Milwaukee

ECLC held a 24-hour “Pentecost 2000 Watch” – as part of Greater Minnesota Council of Churches prayer watch from 5/23/99 – 6/12/2000 for racial justice and reconciliation, involving more than 100 churches

First meeting of Anti-Racism and Design Task Force – 17 members

Undertook five tasks identified for Phase I by MCARI (Minnesota Churches Anti-Racism Initiative) including creation of Leadership Team

Purpose Statement: “The purpose of the anti-racism initiative is to engage ECLC in anti-racism education, training and organizing to strengthen the capacity to recognize and respond to racism both individually and as an institution.”

4-hour congregational orientation held - 30 people attended

Council approved budget for training for 16 from Leadership Team

12 members (2 pastors, 10 Leadership Team members) attended the MCARI intensive workshop presented by Tri-Council Coordinating Commission 


Ecumenical Partnership with Church of God in Christ (through Greater Minnesota Council of Churches)– committees from each congregation met together, planned joint worship, joint choirs, dinners in homes with members from each congregation (35 from ECLC participated), gathering of women from both churches, joint picnic April

Review of Sunday School curriculum – not much available

Columbus Quincentennial observed throughout the year with forums, speakers, matrix, worship service with liturgical dance and drummer, food. Particular focus at Thanksgiving. Theme: “Remembrance, Reconciliation, Renewal”

Seminar on Multicultural (anti-bias) children’s literature

Trip to partner church in El Paisnal, El Salvador

Global Justice Committee recommended that ECLC declare the church a sanctuary for El Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees. Resolution was defeated at special meeting, but amended resolution passed easily: 1) to be in support of Central American refugees, 2) commit to reflection and study, 3) support legislation, and 4) support groups working on the issue, e.g., Lutheran Coalition on Central America

ECLC became fiscal agent for Lutheran Coalition on Central America at their request

12 adults and youth took part in Nehemiah Days in Phillips Neighborhood

Bishop Gomez from El Salvador spoke at ECLC Renee Hertado of the Sanctuary Movement and a Central American refugee, spoke at ECLC

Members involved in trips to: Mexico, through Augsburg Center for Global Education

15-20 from ECLC Central America (2 trips)

10-12 people Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation Synod seminars on racism attended by ECLC members

Involvement in Twin Cities Organizing – provided classes on protesting

Weekly study groups met for a year, using curriculum of TIM (Towards Internationalization of Mission), focus on oppression, exploitation of natural resources by US companies, South Africa

Rev. Paul Boe, ALC director of social services, ordered to jail because he refused to testify before a grand jury regarding Wounded Knee, spoke at ECLC

ECLC provided food to families in St. Paul that had come because of Wounded Knee Late

At Prince of Glory, members involved in picketing churches with construction projects and were not hiring minority businesses or employees

Matrices – at least two – members spent a weekend immersed in “inner city” or reservation location, to learn and be sensitized to issues, e.g., see people as individuals, not “the poor”