calendar June 30, 2020 in Advocacy, anti-racism

Statement on Race, Racism, and Black Lives Matter from The United Lutheran Seminary (ULS) Alumni Association (TULSAA) Board

No thoughtful citizen of this country can look at the violence and systemic racism under which Black Americans live and fail to be outraged. The brutal deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others call us all—both as Americans and as Christians—to stand in solidarity with those who have been denied justice for too long.
Scripture provides us with a witness we must not ignore. God creates the world in love; God creates humankind in God’s image (Gen. 1-2). God despises injustice (Prov. 22:8; Hos. 10:13-14). God stands with the marginalized, the poor, the oppressed (Isa. 58:6; Isa. 61:1-3). God calls the privileged, the wealthy, and the oppressor to repentance (Mic. 6:8; Lk.1:51-53). God sends Jesus to proclaim and to enact a community of justice and abundant life (Mt. 22:34-40; Lk. 4:16-21). Jesus sends us to proclaim his good news to all the world (Mt. 28:18-20).
In response to this witness, we, The ULS Alumni Association Board, declare the following:
First, we stand in solidarity with all Black alumni of ULS and UTI. Your struggles and your lives matter to us.
Second, we call on ULS—its board of directors, alumni, faculty, staff, and students—to continue to address issues of racial injustice on our campuses, in our communities, and in the call processes in which many students are involved[1].
Third, we call white Christians and especially white alumni of our school to repent for the sin of racism and to participate in the work of systemic change.
Fourth, we urge white Christians and especially white alumni to be courageous in this work—to preach, to teach, and to act in ways that make clear that Black Lives Matter[2]. We also urge synods and other judicatory organizations within the ELCA to implement anti-racism training at all levels.
Fifth, we encourage all alumni to engage in deep listening and extended conversation on questions of race and racism in America and in the church.
Sixth, we commit ourselves to the difficult and sustained work of anti-racism, reconciliation, and healing.
Finally, we urge all alumni—and especially white alumni—to continue to educate themselves and each other around these often difficult topics. To that end, we lift up three statements for your consideration. The first comes from Interim President Angela Zimmann and the second from the ULSFaculty.The third document is called “Statement of Black Presidents and Deans of Schools & Departments of Theology & Religion” and was published in Religion Dispatches. It contains signatories from across dozens of schools, denominations, and Christian traditions.
God be with you all,
The ULS Alumni Association Board
For more information on The United Lutheran Seminary Alumni AssociationBoard (TULSAA) please go to page 2 of the Spring 2020 Issue of United Magazine.
[1] For example, Gather magazine notes that in the ELCA, for “women of color, who typically wait three to five years for a first call, even getting an interview can be tough.” (1/10/2020)
[2] For example, white alumni can help the communities they serve to recognize that the Black Lives Matter movement is closely related toCOVID-19 because Black Americans are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. White privilege is reflected in greater wealth and access to health care, and so the eagerness of white Christians to “return to normal” enacts a failure to recognize the plight of Black Americans.