The Greater Milwaukee Synod Anti-Racism Team

The purpose of the Greater Milwaukee Synod Anti-Racism Team is to dismantle racism by creating and deepening a culture of resistance to racism through organizing and training among the ministries of the synod.  This Team was called into existence in the 1998 Synod Assembly (Resolution # 3) and in the 2003 Synod Assembly (Resolution # 2) was asked to serve as a resource “to help congregations begin, and continue, to lift up cross-cultural and diversity concerns.”

The team is made up of pastors and laypeople from across the synod. The team can be a resource for those individuals and groups that want to work toward a more racially equitable and just society. Membership is open to all who feel called to this work.

What can one person do?

Work on an anti-racist identity as an individual and within your congregations.

How?

There are many ways:

  1. Attend workshops and other events developed and led by the anti-racism team and outside organizations such as the Crossroads. A variety of events are offered throughout the year. They are always listed on the synod web site. You can contact the anti-racism team’s Co-Conveners for additional information or events.
  2. Work within your congregations and other organizations to create awareness of the presence of systemic, not just individual, racism. This awareness can be created in many ways, including reading (a list of suggested materials is available in the resource section below), viewing movies and documentaries (a list is available in the resource section below), analysis, and seeking allies – those who also see the need to work for change in this area.
  3. Ask leaders of your organizations to make anti-racism work a priority within the organization. Hold them accountable for doing so.
  4. Work to understand the concepts of white privilege and internalized oppression and find methods/ways to dismantle them.
  5. Become part of an anti-racist group within your congregation, other institutions, or Greater Milwaukee Synod.
  6. Pray for God’s Spirit to work in you and others to develop an anti-racist lifestyle and anti-racist institutions.

Do I have to be a member of the anti-racism team to do this work?

No. Anyone who sees the need to work for an anti-racist society can participate in and lead in their organizations in consultation with the team?

What else can I do?

  1. Connect with people who are engaged in anti-racism analysis, growth, and action.
  2. Become a member of the team. We need a variety of gifts and skills including note-takers, providers of food/hospitality for events, or become a financial contributor to the work of the team.  We have limited financial resources to do this work.  Some people need scholarships to participate in trainings.
  3. Attend and invite others to a movie or book discussion night sponsored by the team.
  4. Encourage others to attend one or more anti-racism workshops or other events.

What does Scripture say about racism?

We can offer these passages for individual or group anti-racism study:

  • Genesis 1:26-31 –  Humans are created in God’s image
  • Ephesians 4:4-7 – One body, Spirit, Lord, faith, baptism, God
  • Galatians 3:27-28 – No longer Jew, Greek, slave, free, male, female but one in Christ
  • Revelation 7:9-17 – Vision of people of every tribe and nation before God’s throne
  • Ephesians 2:11-22 – Christ has broken down the walls of hostility and given us a new identity
  • Colossians 3:9-11 – Put off old, put on new, Christ in all
  • Micah 6:8 – Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God
  • Amos 5:21-24 – Let justice roll down like waters
  • Luke 4:16-20 –  Jesus’ mission statement
  • Matthew 15:21-28 – Jesus is about to dismiss the Syrophoenician woman because she is of a different ethnic group and nationality.
  • John 4 – Jesus crosses barriers in his actions toward a Samaritan woman and a royal official

In a group study, ask people to pair up and discuss what God is saying to them in these passages, as well as their potential response and action. Share the results with the larger group.  There are many additional resources on the Internet to aid you in these discussions.  If you would like some team assistance, just contact one of the Co-Conveners.

To learn more about these options or discuss the next steps, please contact our anti-racism team Co-Convenors, Pr. Fred Thomas-Breitfeld or Esther Rusch.

Resources