Racial Truth & Justice

As a programmatic team at Shepherd of the Valley Church, we provide educational and reflective experiences about systemic racism and white privilege to and with the SOTV community at all ages and stages of life. Through listening to BIPOC communities, learning and inward reflection/examination, we work to empower the SOTV community to speak and act boldly against racism. 

Email Julie to be added to the email list, to learn about upcoming events, or with suggestions.

  • Host a variety of educational activities such as book studies, movies, presentations, and conversations around topics of systemic racism, white privilege, anti-racism, and valuing diversity. We will encourage participants to identify and face their unconscious biases.
  • Encourage advocacy by speaking truth to power, working for anti-racist policies and practices, and actively seeking racial justice in areas such as racial equity in health care, education, housing, employment, and law enforcement.
  • Engage in direct action with partners within and outside of the church, building relationships of trust and solidarity with the goal of creating more just communities. This can include, but is not limited to, partnerships with the Equity Leadership Team, learning ministries at SOTV, Dakota County Coalition of Churches, and SPAS Advocates for Racial Equity.

SOTV’s Racial Truth & Justice Group meet bimonthly to update and plan events and resources. Check back for upcoming events.

Resources to talk with your kids:

Resources for adults:

  • Sojourners: Online web resource and magazine on justice issues for people of faith 
  • Recommended resources from individuals on the Equity Task Force
  • “Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race” by Debby Irving
  • Learn more background information on groups like the Boogaloo Boys in this MPR article
  • Links from ISAIAH’s Facebook page
  • Read about the ELCA’s commitment to combat racism and white supremacy here.
  • If not us, who? If not now, when? ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton addresses the call of the Lutheran church to action for racial justice (May 29, 2020)
  • This is the Day: A statement from ELCA Bishop Elizabeth Eaton about current events of racism in the United States (June 5, 2020)
  • CNN interview with Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility.
  • The difference between being “not racist” and antiracist” (interview featuring nationally known author, Ibram X. Kendi.) 50 minute TED Talk or YouTube video
  • Race in America by Holy Post. An 18 minute history lesson on the origins of racial injustice.
  • The Air We Breathe on Hidden Brain, an insightful exploration of unconscious bias and implicit racism and how it can subtly and powerfully infect a culture.
  • “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad is a guidebook designed to lead the reader through a 30 day, step-by-step process to effectively reflect on white privilege.

SOTV’s past study materials:

Cultural and History Learning:

In addition to connecting with Shepherd of the Valley’s Racial Truth and Justice Group, these are some other ways to connect. 


  • MN Coalition: MN Coalition is a group of community organizations that has come together to work toward transforming police accountability, supporting families of stolen lives. This coalition is part of the growing movement across this country to address pandemic of injustice.


Economic Action

It is important to support our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color) neighbors by exploring and supporting their businesses. We have begun to develop a list of options to learn more about our neighbors and support them as they work to support themselves, their families, and their communities.

Please consider the following vendors:

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Six community leaders share information and observations on Dakota County’s growing diversity, commenting on the opportunities and challenges growing diversity brings, and sharing ideas on how to be energized as citizens who make a positive difference. Listen to the audio file

Panel Members:

  • Virgil Jones, ISD 196 Director of Equity and Inclusion
  • Jon Rechtzigel, Apple Valley Chief of Police 
  • Sachin Isaacs, ISD 196 School Board member 
  • Lisa Lusk, 360 Communities Director of Programs and Operations
  • Telesea Everett, Dakota County Social Services Children’s Mental Health Supervisor
  • Kristen Capel, local faith community leader 
  • Pastor Randy Brandt, site host and moderator
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