top of page

Our Anti-Racism Statement

Summary statement:  We are opposed to racism in all its forms.

Therefore, these are our commitments:

1. Confess that we (white and BIPOC) are conditioned by racism, and work against that conditioning.

2. Seek education about the history and impact of racism.

3. Actively push for equity and justice in all areas of life (work, education, housing, health care, the legal system, and more) and reparations for the harm done.

4. Listen and talk with each other and with those outside Shalom to grow in our own understanding of racism. Act on what we learn.

5. Promote reconciliation and healing of racial wounds by being open about our own experiences and learning from the experiences of others. Repair what can be repaired.

6. Work toward breaking down the structures that support racism, and for white people to give up power and privileges.

7. Commit to being accountable to People of Color in the congregation and outside it to reach these goals.

When Europeans first began settling in the Western Hemisphere, they made the false assumption that they and their cultures were superior to Indigenous and African peoples and cultures. They killed and displaced Indigenous persons. They kidnapped and enslaved and killed persons of African origins. Jews, Asians, and Middle Easterners have also been mistreated. “White” people today still benefit from these white supremacist ideas and the laws and institutions that support those ideas.

While most people prefer to relate to people of their own culture (which we call prejudice), racial prejudice plus the misuse of power is what we call racism. Racism has led to Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) being systematically oppressed in work, education, housing, health care, the legal system, and more.


As Shalom Mennonite Church, we believe that all persons are created in the image of God and are loved by God, who in turn expects us to love our neighbors near and far, and to treat them peacefully and justly. This has led us to work toward being an anti-racist church.


May God help us to move toward justice and healing.

- Accepted as official statement by congregational vote on 5/28/2023

Additional resources

1. "The Two Faces of Racism" - Zenebe Abebe

2. "The 1619 project" is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to re-frame the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative." A free account is needed to access the articles and podcasts.

3. Book list compiled by Brad Yoder. Books marked with an asterisk are particularly recommended by Barbara and Zenebe Abebe and/or Brad Yoder and Jeanne Smucker. Brad has all of these books and is glad to lend them.


4. Documentaries ordered for our church library include:

  • “Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965” (14 parts)

  • “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise” (4 parts)

  • “Race: The Power of an Illusion” (3 parts)


5. Attucks: The School That Opened a City - A two-hour-long documentary about Indianapolis' own Crispus Attucks High School that now houses a small museum to Indianapolis African American history. The documentary can also be viewed by subscribers on PBS.


6. "Race: The Power of an Illusion." Available as e-video or DVD (Indianapolis Public Library)

7. "History of Redlining--Indianapolis IN"

8. Indiana Michigan Conference anti-racism resources


  • Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration, Random House, 2010

  • Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, Random House, 2020

  • Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of our Bodies and Hearts, Central Recovery Press, 2017

  • Reparations: A Plan for Churches, by Peter Jarrett-Schell. NY: Church Publishing, 2023


  • 13th, 2016, Ava DuVernay (documentary about mass incarceration—Best Doc Oscar and Emmy)

  • I Am Not Your Negro, 2016, directed by Raoul Peck (documentary based on James Baldwin’s writings and speaking, nominated for Best Documentary Oscar and won BAFTA Award for best documentary that same year)

  • Just Mercy, 2019 (based on true story about Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative)


  • “Code Switch” (NPR)—hosted by journalists of color, explores the impact of race on pop culture, politics, sports, etc.

bottom of page