Racial Justice Ministries

We believe that Christ’s church is for all people. God calls each of us by name, and it is not our job to sort, divide, categorize or exclude. But as “saints and sinners,” we know and experience God’s work of healing and restoring as well as the persistent human pain and injustices of racism in the world. This is where God has put us, in the thick of life, where we participate in what God is doing by insisting on justice and upholding human dignity for the inclusion of all people in the life of the church and society.

We are called to be a church that embraces each person and confronts racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, age, gender, familial, sexual orientation, physical, personal and class barriers that often manifest themselves in unjust treatment, inequalities, exclusion and violence.

The Racial Justice Ministries of the ELCA serve as catalysts and bridge builders committed to the work of:
  • Equipping leaders to recognize and understand the complexity and implications of racism and racial issues.
  • Training and education in the areas of anti-racism and racial justice for leaders in partnership with synods, congregations, associations and social service agencies.
  • Building alliances and strategies across race, ethnicity, class, gender, age and sexual orientation to break through barriers of racism and oppression.
  • Creating and supporting ecumenical networks that call for and help equip the church to be a multiracial and multicultural community.
  • Working together throughout the church in public witness, programs and policies that advance racial justice — locally and globally.
  • Developing and sharing educational tools and training models for congregations to use in facing the challenges of racism in a diverse, complex and changing world.
When we confront racism and move toward fairness and justice in the church and society, we all benefit. We begin to understand that each of us has a unique story, and we are all part of a larger, rich story that makes up the ELCA.

The ELCA Social Statement, "Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity and Culture," offers theological reflection on the church’s commitment to undo racism and move toward reconciliation, healing and embracing all people.

Declaration of the ELCA

Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent Explanation of the Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent
Document, Study Guide and Participant Materials