ReconcilingWorks is committed to welcoming, including, and celebrating LGBTQIA+ people. As an organization we know LGBTQIA+ people come in a rich diversity of bodies, which means in order for us to do this holy work, it must be intersectional. ReconcilingWorks is making a public commitment to increase our intersectional work dedicated to racial equity.ReconcilingWorks Board of Directors along with staff will be working to create a Racial Equity Plan of how we will examine the Four Dimensions of Racism as defined by Raceforward, and how they impact our organization’s racist actions and behavior.
In 2016, at the Churchwide Assembly, the ELCA passed the "Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery" resolution, acknowledging the complicit evils of colonialism, and the impact that it has had on Native Peoples. As ReconcilingWorks continues to engage in its anti-racist work, we acknowledge our national office resides on the land of the Wahpekute, Anishinabewaki, and Očeti Šakówiŋ (Sioux). If you or your faith community would like to learn more about the land you are occupying, click here.
Four Dimensions of Racism:
Internalized racism lies within individuals. These are private beliefs about race that reside inside our minds.
Interpersonal racism occurs between individuals. Once we bring our private beliefs about race into our interactions with others, we are now in the interpersonal realm.
Institutional racism occurs within institutions. It involves the discriminatory treatment, unfair policies and practices, and inequitable opportunities and impacts, based on race.
Structural racism is racial bias across institutions and society. It’s the cumulative compounded effects of an array of factors that systematically privilege white people and disadvantaged people of color.
National Board has approved $5,000 for ongoing training for staff, board, and lead volunteers to be used by November 2020.
Racial Equity Monthly Book Club readings for Board, RIC partners, supporters, donors, volunteers, and staff, with ReconcilingWorks-made reflection guide to further discussion.
Fall Board of Director's meeting will continue to create a Racial Equity Plan that examines the Four Dimensions of Racism and their effect on ReconcilingWorks, determining what learning and action is needed to dismantle our organization's own racist actions and behavior.
Racial Equity Book Club
This book club is intended to be one step in many ReconcilingWorks will take as we as an organization work to become more aware of our racism and create a Racial Equity Plan to form a lifetime of milestone for us, our Reconciling in Christ partners, volunteers, supporters, and donors to engage on. The hope is for us to have some common learning, language, and awareness as we move the work forward together. At the end of each month, ReconcilingWorks encourages supporters to engage in the reflection questions for the books, provided below.
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S
By: Lenny Duncan
Lenny Duncan is the unlikeliest of pastors. Formerly incarcerated, he is now a black preacher in the whitest denomination in the United States: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Shifting demographics and shrinking congregations make all the headlines, but Duncan sees something else at work--drawing a direct line between the church's lack of diversity and the church's lack of vitality. The problems the ELCA faces are theological, not sociological. But so are the answers.
By: Robin Diangelo
In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence.
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
By: Austin Channing Brown
In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric—from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.