On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, almost 40 people met at First Lutheran Church in DeKalb for Racial Justice Training.
Excellent speakers Judith Roberts (Program Director, Racial Justice Ministries, ELCA) and Donna Matteis (president of the ELCA European Descent Lutheran Association for Racial Justice) led the day-long training.
During this event, participants explored concepts and consequences around race in communities and congregations. Through worship, reflection and action planning, leaders were equipped to carry these conversations into their local context.
The training helped explain the system of inequity and how narratives reinforce inequity. Participants learned about accumulated advantages for whites and accumulated disadvantages for people of color, and their current-day legacy. The issues of internalized racism and internalized privilege were discussed as well as the questions of what does racism mean and what does white privilege mean. The training helped explain what those terms are, so people understand that by talking about the concepts, we’re not calling people racists. We are talking about systemic racism, systemic white privilege, and its impact.
The goal is to interrupt white privilege because white privilege is what helps create and maintain systemic inequity.
At the end of the day, participants brainstormed ways to continue the conversation and support and hold each other accountable in working to interrupt white privilege in our congregations.