We Are Neighbors

Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, 2020 has proven to be another difficult year for racial justice in the United States. Most recently, the shooting of Jacob Blake, on top of the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Aubrey – among too many others – has reignited both tensions and calls for change.

What is the church’s voice in this? The fact is that, over hundreds of years the Christian Church has been on both the right and wrong side of movements for equality and racial reconciliation. Today, we believe that the church must be a place for people of faith to engage in difficult conversations around race, seeking God’s will for the sake of loving our neighbors.   

In the Summer of 2020, our newly formed Faith & Justice team offered some pathways for engagement. The 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge offered a curated set of resources featuring the voices of our Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) neighbors, for the sake of expanding our knowledge and understanding. The Challenge is to engage a resource – a video, podcast, article, etc. – each day for 21 days.  Not all of these resources are “faith-based” but we believe that we can allow these voices to inform our understanding and practice of faith. Check them out on your own, or, better yet, converse about them with others. The 21-Day Challenge remains open for anyone who would like to participate whenever they choose. The 21-Day Challenge resource list is available below. 

One way to enter the conversation with others is to join the CTS Faith & Justice Facebook Group – where respectful dialogue helps us to share the journey together.

You might also be interested in checking out these blog posts by Pastor Brian related to the topic:

Wisdom Tooth Wisdom
No More.

In addition, our national church body invites you to commit to the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge with specific steps to learn more and become active in the anti-racism movement.

21 Day Challenge Resources



Why “I’m Not Racist” is only half the story with Robin DiAngelo (7 min)

How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them with Verna Myers (19 min)

Racism is Real (3 min)

Confronting Intergroup Anxiety: Can you try too hard to be fair (5 min)

CBS News: 50 states, 50 different ways of teaching America’s past with Dr. Ibram X Kendi (5 min)

The Disturbing History of the Suburbs with Adam Ruins Everything (6 min)






This is Us with Dr. Eddie Gaude (3 min)

What kind of Asian are you? (2 min)

Birth of a White Nation (36 min)

The Danger of a single story with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (18 min)

How to deconstruct racism one headline at a time with Baratunde Thurston (10 min)

Indigenous People React to Indigenous Representation in Film and TV (15 min)

What Being Hispanic and LatinX Means in the United States with Fernanda Ponce (12 min)







Tyler Merrit Project: Before You Call (3 min)

New York Times Op-Docs on Race (each video about 6 min)

White Bred (5 min) 

What Would You Do: Bicycle Thief Episode (12 min)

How I learned to stop worrying and love discussing race with Jay Smooth (12 min)

The urgency of intersectionality with Kimberle Crenshaw (19 min)

















Black Like Me (Multiple Episodes of different lengths)
Dr. Alex Gee is a Pastor in Madison, WI, who “…invites you to experience the world through the perspective of one Black man, one conversation, one story, or even one rant at a time.”  In the interest of being a good neighbor, it helps to see through someone else’s eyes and experience. 

Scene On Radio – Season Two “Seeing White” (Multiple Episodes of different lengths)
In a story/documentary format, the “Seeing White” episodes explore stories related to the history and meaning of “whiteness”.  The stories are those of neighbors that we might not otherwise hear from.

Teaching While White (Multiple Episodes of different lengths)
Interested in Education?  Did you know that 80% of teachers in the US are white?  Why does that matter, and what impact does it have?  Many episodes exploring various topics around anti-racism in teaching and learning.

How Does Racism Affect Your Health? Mary Bassett on TED Radio (11:49)
We often assume that everyone has the same chances at health and health care – but race impacts everything from medical attention to life expectancy.  The health and well-being of all our neighbors is of concern for all who would love their neighbor.

Without Slavery, Would the U.S. Be the Leading Economic Power? Edward Baptist on NPR’s “Here and Now” (14:51)
Interested in economics? Take a hard look at how slavery in the US impacted, and continues to impact the economy of our nation.  As neighbors and stewards of what God provides, issues of labor and slavery deserve our attention. (14:51)

Code Switch (Multiple Episodes of different lengths) What's CODE SWITCH? It's the fearless conversations about race that you've been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we're all part of the story.