“Deaths of Despair” and Social Isolation

I used to write a blog post after most mass shootings, but I stopped that practice some time ago when, tragically, they started to become so regularized. How many times can you bemoan the ease of obtaining a gun, the ignoring of warning signs, increasing violence and the normalization of these shootings? I felt at…… Continue reading “Deaths of Despair” and Social Isolation

Remembering Yesterday, for the sake of Today and Tomorrow

While I was in Oklahoma last weekend, I visited two very significant museums: the museum and memorial commemorating the Oklahoma City Bombing of April 19th, 1995; and the Greenwood Rising museum and Reconciliation Park in Tulsa, which commemorate the Tulsa massacre of the Black community [often known as “Black Wall Street”] in the Greenwood neighborhood…… Continue reading Remembering Yesterday, for the sake of Today and Tomorrow

Why Diversity Matters, for Everyone

Bob Iuliano, the current president of Gettysburg College, a wonderful college where I used to serve as chaplain/associate dean of religious and spiritual life, wrote this fantastic piece for The Hill on race-conscious college admissions: you can read it here: https://thehill.com/opinion/congress-blog/3673515-building-diverse-campuses-requires-race-conscious-admissions/ Iuliano is uniquely qualified to write on this topic, because he previously served as…… Continue reading Why Diversity Matters, for Everyone

My Grandmother’s Hands

I didn’t really plan on doing another book review so quickly, but I wanted to share just a few thoughts about this book [suggested to me by a friend], which was really interesting and different than any other book I have read recently about racism and society. Menakem focuses on our bodies, arguing that we…… Continue reading My Grandmother’s Hands

Becoming a Good-ish Person, Fighting Bias

I just finished a fantastic book, and be warned: I have the zeal of a recent convert! The book is by Dolly Chugh, and it is titled The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias. The premise of the book is quite straightforward: it is applying a “growth mentality “–a concept popularized…… Continue reading Becoming a Good-ish Person, Fighting Bias

Lingering with the Bible

What are your views on Scripture? I’ve been thinking about this question quite a bit the past few days, for a couple reasons. First, along with colleagues from across the ELCA, I’ve been reading If God Still Breathes, Why Can’t I?: Black Lives Matter and Biblical Authority, by Dr. Angela Parker. Dr. Parker is a…… Continue reading Lingering with the Bible

The Importance of Disruption

If you are like me, you probably have been to at least a few different anti-racism training workshops. And, if you are like me, you probably have had mixed reactions to them.  Well, on Monday afternoon, here at Wartburg Seminary, I was fortunate enough to have participated in one of the very best I have…… Continue reading The Importance of Disruption