Anti-Racism Team

"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people." -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Synod’s Anti-Racism Team (ART) is available to help lead  your congregation understand racism as it exists in individuals, institutions, and societal structures, including our churches, and how to become allies with persons who live with this sin on a daily basis.

You can begin the process by inviting ART to your group for an introductory 2-hour overview.  Once your group has committed to embark on this journey, the training encompasses 18-24 hours which can be customized to fit your group’s schedule (for example, the training could be done on 3 Saturdays consecutively or 3 Saturdays over the course of 3 months.)  ART also invites you to join the team.

For more information, please send an email to .

All Anti-Racism Updates



SEPA Synod members participated in a four-week discussion of Debbie Irving’s book “Waking Up White.  In it, she shares the experiences that led her to a greater awareness of the role of race and the impact of racism.  An appendix to the book provides a list of suggested resources that readers can access to go deeper. At our last session, members were invited to share resources that they have found helpful.  Here are a few of their recommendations:
Free Zoom lecture series:
●“Racism in America” (Montgomery Community College Free Lecture Series) which can be viewed live or streamed later at your convenience . You have to “purchase “ a ticket for each upcoming lecture which costs nothing. 
●The Myth of Meritocracy and Rugged Individualism, TIM WISE
●James Baldwin Debates William F. Buckley (1965)
From the New York Times Feb 18, 2021. “Draft” Riots of 1863: History records this as a violent demonstration against PresidentLincoln’s order for conscription. The truth is that over the course of some four days, mobs of white New Yorkers roamed the streets of the city … setting fire to buildings and killing people, specifically targeting Black people for the most horrific violence. The article describes the horror, and what happened after.
●As Asian-American violence and hate incidents increase, this is a timely piece by Bee Vang. He writes:  Showing “our American-ness” was never enough. This is a deceit of multiculturalism.
●Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
●Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
Museum Visit:
Lest We Forget Slavery Museum offers a virtual tour of its exhaustive collection of genuine artifacts, each one more chilling than the next: auction tags, bills of sale, shackles, branding irons, lynching photos. There are cases of grotesquely grinning Jim Crow memorabilia, and a whole room of heart-breaking obituaries of young men struck down by gun violence in the streets of Philadelphia. One of the most striking things about the LWF Slavery Museum is how well it traces the trauma this twisted system inflicted upon untold millions, through many generations, including today. See:…
The Anti-racism Team invites you to share your resource recommendations as well as activities your congregation is doing to learn more about racism. Please share by sending an email:

Assembly Passes Anti-Racism Education Resolution

The 2019 Synod Assembly approved a resolution that established a requirement for rostered ministers to take anti-racism training at least as often as is currently required for boundaries training.

For more information contact


“The reason I participate is that this is not something we can leave to other people. Someone said yesterday that they hoped God will get this done. Well, God has been telling us to get it done forever.

“The only way this gets done is that God has given us these tasks at baptism, to love everyone, to love our brothers and sisters in Christ, to love the people that are with us all the time. That is what we are called to do.” 

— The Rev. Susie Folks

“When I joined the anti-racism team last summer I had no idea how much implicit bias I was carrying around, nor did I grasp that my long life has been smoothed since birth by white privilge. I am starting to get it.

“The Lutheran Church, with it’s life-giving theology of grace…has always been culturally embedded in whiteness… It’s time for us…to get honest with ourselves. … We need to repent.”

— Ms. Janet Bischoff

“When it comes to waking up to the implicit bias through which I see others… when it comes to the unsought privilege that my unchosen skin color affords me in society… and when it comes to understanding how unfair laws and unchallenged cultural practices have shaped my life by an inheritance of institutional racism, not just unlearned habits of the heart, I tell you my eyes are just beginning to open.”

— The Rev. Christopher Weidner


Anti Racism-Speak Up

Speak Up! Responding to Everyday Bigotry (PDF booklet from Southern Poverty Law Center)


Anti-Racism Confession and Reconciliation

Anti-Racism Confession and Reconciliation (Introduced at 2017 Synod Assembly)

More anti-racism resources can be found here:



Anti-Racism Team Introduction (Video from 2017 Synod Assembly)



Rev. Christopher Weidner on his experience with the ART (Video from 2017 Synod Assembly)



Ms. Janet Bischoff on white privilege and racism and the church (Video from 2017 Synod Assembly)