Responding to Racial Injustice

The following article originally appeared in the Life of the Flock, Fall 2015 edition.

If you are interested in learning more about issues of race and what our faith is calling us to do, please visit our narthex spotlight table on Oct. 24 & 25. You can also contact or

How Do We Respond to Racial Unrest?

By Carolyn Sampson

“I have never burned or looted buildings,” my black friend said when we talked about the escalating racial tension recently. “I’ve never killed anyone or gone to jail. Black people have a branding problem.”

Indeed! Her comment struck me as particularly ironic, since I now own a company that specializes in helping brand small businesses and nonprofits, including churches. What ideas can I offer for “rebranding” the image many whites have of the Black community and, perhaps, vice versa?

In my class at St. Catherine University and a graduate school class I later took at The Humphrey School of Public Affairs, three African American teachers helped me see our nation’s culture in a new light. The readings, films and discussions were frank and enlightening. I later attended the annual “Overcoming Racism-Why Is It So Hard?” in St. Paul, where I learned about Anti-Racism Study Dialogue Circles. Recently, SOTV staff began researching various programming options for our own congregation.

Although details are still being decided as this issue goes to press, I invite you to contact me if you are interested in finding out more about how we CAN respond as Lutherans and Christians to this disturbing, entrenched challenge in our communities, states and nation.

E-mail me at

Leave a Reply