The Kingdom of God only exists in its fullness when all people in creation’s broad and beautiful spectrum of colors, expressions and experiences are loved, celebrated for who we are, and who God intends us to be, with all needs satisfied and all wrongs reconciled. As God transforms the world toward this vision, we confess we have worked against it. We have been complicit benefactors of sinful systems of racism in our lifetime and in our history, ignored, erased, and stolen the voices of people of color. Controlled by fear, ignorance, and apathy, we have failed to act or speak against evil in our midst and in our hearts.
Working toward the Kingdom, congregations, leaders, and laity of the Northern Illinois Synod are compelled and required to partner with God and our neighbors to learn about and repent of our history of racism, to fight discrimination, inequity, and prejudice in all its forms, to demolish the racist systems of our institutions and economy, reimagining them to heal ethnic and cultural divisions among us. This committee will facilitate this effort by listening to and amplifying voices of people of color, providing opportunities for education and cooperative action, and empowering congregations to engage in multicultural relationships in their own neighborhoods.
Systemic racism is a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization, leading to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education.
A microaggression is a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a racial or ethnic minority.
White privilege refers to the inherent but often unseen advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterized by racial inequality and injustice.
Implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.
Robin Diangelo, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. 2018.
Lenny Duncan, Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U. S. 2019.
Daniel Hill, White Awake: An Honest Book at What It Means to be White. 2017
Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race. 2019.
Jim Wallis, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America. 2016.
“Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture” 1993 ELCA Social Statement