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Racial Justice

Holy Trinity has a long history of involvement in racial justice work. Most recently, the congregation has made significant commitments to identifying, examining, and working to eradicate white privilege in and outside our church. We also work to recognize and shine a light on the deeply rooted systemic racism that exists across our society. Our congregation is committed to doing everything we can to build a culture of acceptance, equity, and affirmative justice at Holy Trinity and in our broader society.

Holy Trinity’s Racial Justice and Adult Education committees have been actively working to offer education and engagement around these issues, including small group discussion groups on the topic of race, and a congregational audit around race and equity.

We acknowledge there is much ongoing work for us to do to ensure that all elements of our congregational life reflect equity and justice.

Racial Justice

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Racial Justice Statement

We proclaim that we are all created in God’s image and that God has called us all “good.” That God, through Jesus, gathers us together as diverse and equally beloved children. That the Holy Spirit through the gospel compels us to follow Jesus’ reconciling footsteps toward racial justice.

Those of us who are people of color or indigenous suffer injustice when these truths are not lived out in God’s world. Those of us who are white are entwined in a network of unearned privilege that distances us from the fullness of humanity and from God. We all acknowledge that standing in silence strengthens racism and violence. Given these beliefs, we confess all these sins and strive to be the beloved community to which we are called.

We understand that the call to racial justice applies to us as individuals, as participants in institutions like Holy Trinity, and in larger systems in our world. We take responsibility to use a “racial justice lens” to look at the ways in which racism and white privilege shape our congregational life and our interface with our community.

Holy Trinity has had a long history of involvement in social justice, racial justice work, and, more recently, identifying white privilege. Yet, we know that there is more for us to do to ensure that all elements of our congregational life reflect equity and justice.

Be it resolved: Following the inclusive and reconciling footsteps of Jesus, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church publicly declares that we will actively pursue racial justice in all aspects of our congregational life and make changes to better align our practices to being a racially just, beloved community.


Current activities with Racial Justice Group

Partnering with community organizations with racial justice goals and being led by them into action

CTUL (Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Luches)
CAIR MN (Council on American-Islamic Relations in Minnesota)
MIGIZI, a local agency that supports the educational, social, economic, and cultural development of Indigenous youth
Mother St. James AME
Pangea World Theater


Addressing institutional racism within Holy Trinity by:

  • Acting on a comprehensive audit and professional consultation on institutional racism within Holy Trinity to better align our culture and structure with our Christian faith (completed 2020).
  • Planning and implementing Equity Teams (stemming from the audit/consultation). Examples of their activities:
    –making worship space sensitive to diverse cultures
    –exploring opportunities for neighborhood partnerships and volunteer opportunities with racial justice issues
    –sharpening commitment to racial justice in all Holy Trinity committees and working groups
    –promoting equity and inclusion within HT staff through use of a professional consultant using the Intercultural Development Inventory and a second Equity Team that addresses personnel issues
    –exploring more participatory ways of making decisions and diversifying membership on the HT Church Council
  • Laying groundwork and acting on racial reparations for individual congregants and for our congregation as an organization. Read about the work our Indigenous Rights Task Force has undertaken.
  • Hosting a microaggressions workshop with material that has been developed from a workshop offered by Joe Davis and David Scherer; the two-hour workshop has been edited down to these shorter videos in order to provide the content in a more digestible format. There are a number of places in the videos where the sound quality is very poor, due mostly to the equipment the church had available to do this taping. It may be possible to raise the volume for your computer or mobile device in order to hear the comments. In any case, we regret this unfortunate technical problem in these videos.
    1. Microaggression Workshop Introduction
    2. Microaggression Workshop Part 1
    3. Microaggression Workshop Part 2
    4. Microaggression Workshop Part 3

Interested in getting involved in racial justice at Holy Trinity?

Email or call the office (612-729-8358) and you’ll be directed to a member leader who can assist you.


Resources for group discussion:

Dialogues on Race available through Spark House
I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown. An eye-opening account of growing up black, Christian, and female in middle class white America
Dear Church by Lenny Duncan. Written by a formerly incarcerated Black preacher in the ELCA who draws a link between the church’s lack of diversity and the church’s lack of vitality
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates based on an extended letter to the author’s son that exposes a new framework for understanding our nation’s history and the current racial crisis


Articles, documentaries, podcasts, videos: 

The following is a partial list of resources sent weekly to Holy Trinity participants in the ACTION Project – an interdenominational year-long anti-racism program led by Rev. Jia Starr Brown.

The Danger of a Single Story.” Ted Talk given by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 19 min.
The History of American Policing” NPR, 64 min. listen
A Christian Call for Reparations” by Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas; Sojourners, July 20, 2020
What My Korean Father Taught Me About Defending Myself,” by Alexander Chee, May 14, 2021
Modern Day Lynching: Target Practice Short Film.” 2020, 6 min 39 sec, written and directed by Yasmin Neal
The Difference Between Womanism and Feminism,” by Giulia Squadin in DifferenceBetween.Net
A Taste of Minnesota Hmong Culture” by James Norton
Native American Stereotypes in Pop Media” by Virginia McLaurin, Feb 27, 2019
What is an Ally?”  3.32 min with Chescalaigh
An Introduction to the Queer Community” YouTube video 7 min
Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable” Video by Luvvie Ajayi Jones, 10 min 54 sec
Teacher Bias in the Classroom: The Elephant in the Room.” The Graide Network, Aug 17, 2018
The Urgency of Intersectionality” TED Talk, 18 min, Kimberley’ Crenshaw
Christian Privilege Check List” Samuel Killerman
White Supremacy Culture,” by Tema Okun in Changework: Dismantling Racism Workbook
Millennials Show Us What ‘Old’ Looks Like | Disrupt Aging” AARP, 4 min 8 sec video
An Overview of Latino and Latin American Identity” by Emma Turner-Trujillo, Marissa Del Toro and April Ramos

Resources for Parents and Caregivers: and from that website “8 Tips for Talking to Your Child about Racial Injustice.”
Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism by CNN and Sesame Street Part 1Part 2, Part 3 website – Affirming Black Lives Without Introducing Trauma

Resources for Children:

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara (also on Youtube read by the author)
The Proudest Blue-A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad (also on Youtube)
Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox (also on Youtube)

Check out other initiatives under our website “Justice” tab such as Caring for Creation, Immigration, Indigenous Rights, Palestine-Israel, Public Voice and Organizing Committee, LGBTQIA+, Affordable Housing, and George Floyd.

Say His Name: George Floyd

On May 26, 2020, White Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt for 9 minutes and 29 seconds on the neck of George Floyd, a Black man, which ended his life. In the hours, days, and weeks that followed, Holy Trinity found itself at the heart of the explosive response to this brutal killing and the centuries of trauma that preceded it. Learn more about our response here.

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