Racial Justice & Equity Resources

Seeking to provide you with a variety of voices and opportunities for personal growth and congregational learning and engagement – wherever you are on your journey to better understand personal and institutional racism – we hope you find these resources helpful. They include:

  • Personal recommendations from Racial Justice and Equity Team (RJET) members
  • Resources for parents, grandparents and other child caregivers
  • ELCA and other ministry organization resources

Personal Recommendations

“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race”

A 12-minute TEDx Talk about how we discuss issues of race and racism, offering insightful and humorous suggestions for expanding our perceptions.

“Talking about racism with my white peers definitely feels like sensitive territory, and I’m definitely still learning! But this helped to hear that my imperfect comments are not an indictment of my goodness.” 

– Linda Van Guilder, RJET member

“So You Want To Talk About Race,” by Ijeoma Oluo

A Good Reads Choice Award recipient and New York Times Best Seller, each chapter title is a question about race in contemporary America. The author outlines her opinions and provides advice about how to talk about the issues. 

“Of all the books I read at the beginning of my journey, this was the most useful. In each chapter, Oluo poses a question and then she gives answers. I wanted so much to have this subject “boiled down to basics” and this book did that for me.”

Nancy Ouska, RJET member

Waking Up White,” by Debby Irving

Through the lens of a white upper middle-class upbringing, the book’s author shares her personal struggle to understand – and to learn how to talk about – racism and racial tension. 

This thought-provoking book was a catalyst for me to examine my own biases and cultural assumptions that can perpetuate racism.  It should serve as a call to action for all of us.”

Randy Gullickson, RJET member

“Nice Racism: How Progressive White People Perpetuate Racial Harm,” by Robin DiAngelo

White progressives cause the most harm to people of color; DiAngelo makes this claim in her New York Times Best Selling White Fragility. She breaks down how they do so in this more recent book, writing again to white people as a white person, and sharing her own missteps and struggles.

I thought I didn’t have racial biases because I don’t openly express prejudices to black, indigenous, and people of color. But this book challenged my way of thinking. It also helped me understand how I’ve benefited from past offenses of racism, what I can do to better myself, and how I can help counteract racism in our society.”   

Phil Larson, RJET member

Seeing White,” from Scene on Radio

This two-time Peabody Award-nominated podcast explores the notion of whiteness in the Season 2 series Seeing White. Where did it come from? What does it mean? What is it for? This podcast takes a deep dive into these questions and looks at how it’s affected the law, economy, and culture in America in ways that continue to have ramifications today.

“Once I started listening to ‘Seeing White,’ I had difficulty putting it aside and listened to all 14 parts in a short period of time. It is so well done, so informative, and provided some of the most important insights I have come across in my journey to better understand race and racism. I highly recommend this podcast.”  

Randy Gullickson, RJET member

A Talk with Jim Bear Jacobs (Mohican)

Jim Bear Jacobs, a member of the Mohican American Indian Tribe, shares his stories at Trinity Lutheran Church in Long Lake in this 2023 video. Rev. Jacobs is a Christian educator and cultural facilitator working to raise awareness of Native American injustices.

The whole talk is very good, but I found that what Jim Bear has to say at the 45-minute mark about the role the church can play in healing around our history with Indigenous people to be a REALLY COMPELLING message for people of Christian faith! Enjoy learning!” 

Julia Dinsmore, Normandale Lutheran Church
Social Justice Liaison and RJET team member

“Becoming a White Antiracist,” by Stephen Brookfield
and Mary Hess

A practical guide grounded in the idea that white people need to start with themselves, with understanding that they have a white racial identity. Stephen Brookfield is Distinguished Scholar at Antioch University, Columbia University and St. Thomas University in Minnesota. Mary Hess is a Professor of Educational Leadership at Luther Seminary, where she has taught since 2000.

“The Racial Healing Handbook,” by Anneliese Singh

A practical guide with activities to help you navigate racism, challenge privilege, confront systemic racism, and engage in collective healing. A leading recommendation from our partners at the Center for Leadership and Neighborhood Engagement (CLNE).

“For me I’d say that I recommend the Racial Healing Handbook because it’s accessible and developmentally appropriate for people in all different places along their racial justice journey. I am challenged by (and love) the invitation the journaling activities give to mirror work, and the connection the handbook makes to both academic frameworks and my own lived experience.“ 

Kelly Schumacher Fuller, former CLNE Director of Programs and Volunteer Development

For Parents, Grandparents, & Other Child Caregivers


A website with extensive insights and knowledge shared by educators, parents, and psychologists to help raise a generation of children who are thoughtful and informed about race. Available articles include topics such as Eight Tips for Talking to Your Child about Race, How to Discover Diverse Children’s Books, plus webinars on many race and equity topics.


Recognized as a 2021 Best Digital Tool by the American Association of School Librarians, this site includes a search tool for children’s books related to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). These books are highlighted as potential sources of education for you and the children in your life.


Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices, by Netflix, is a live-action collection of twelve mini episodes featuring black celebrities and artists reading children’s books. These books are from black authors and highlight the black experience, such as Tiffany Haddish reading “I Love My Hair,” by Natasha Tarpley.

From Ministry Organizations

ELCA Declaration to the People of African Descent

The ELCA declaration adopted in 2019 to apologize to people of African descent for its historical complicity in slavery and its enduring legacy of racism. For going deeper, a study guide and participant materials are also available.

ELCA Working Definition of Terms Relating to Race and Racism

What is the difference between prejudice and discrimination? Race and ethnicity? What are the different levels of structural racism? A PDF of working definitions was developed by the ELCA in 2008 to help provide clarification of approximately 20 terms.

Dr. Mary Hess (Luther Seminary)

Resources augmenting Dr. Hess’s course on Christian Education and Dismantling Racism with lists of websites, blogs, essays, films plus many other Luther Seminary resources.

Lutheran Services in America Racial Equity Resources

A collection of racial equity resources including podcasts, books, movies and more.

Personal “Why I Care” Videos from Racial Justice & Equity Team
(RJET) Members

Phil Larson

Hear why long-time member of Normandale Lutheran Church Phil Larson is compelled by his faith to act as he describes why he cares about racial justice and equity as he relates to Micah 6:8.

Want to See More?

Feel free to submit questions, ideas, reactions, etc. to our team. Your comments and inquiries are welcomed!