I was riding down the escalator at an airport when I saw clusters of women at the bottom holding baskets. They wore enough Women of the ELCA paraphernalia for me to recognize them as kin—in the same organization as me.
Greeters were giving out baskets filled with small packets of candy and such. When I got off the escalator, I reached to the basket. But instead, the basket was snatched back, and I heard the words, “These are for Women of the ELCA.” I leveled my gaze at the SWO hostess and said, “I am Women of the ELCA.”
The air fell still. Her eyes said I didn’t look like Women of the ELCA. Another White woman at this hostess’ elbow reached into the basket and offered me a packet. There is so much work to be done! Before more people of color die in churches, we need guided conversations about race, conversations that can move us forward. Check out these resources on our website to begin your structured conversation about race.
From “Confronting Racism” by Inez Torres Davis on the Women of the ELCA blog.