Aana Marie Vigen
Aana Marie Vigen is an Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Vigen earned a BA in Spanish, Religion, and Hispanic Studies from St. Olaf College, an MA in Theology and Ethics jointly conferred by the Graduate Theological Union and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Social and Theological Ethics from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She is a member of the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE) and the American Academy of Religion (AAR). Dr. Vigen is also an active lay member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and served on the national ELCA Genetics Taskforce from 2008–2011. She offers courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
“Taking Stock of Racism.” We’ll define it, think about our part in it, and the implicit biases, assumptions and stereotypes that get in the way of fostering good and healthy relationships across racial differences. We’ll also consider strategies and steps for white folk to become better allies, and practice how to talk about it with each other and in our faith communities.
Taking Stock of Who We Are, Where We Come From, & Why We are Here.
The facilitator will share some of her own story as to how and why I have come to be invested in white anti-racism work and will invite participants to do the same via individual reflection. There will be time for participants to share a bit of their journey in small group discussion (pairs if possible). Possible Pre-Reading: Ch. 1 & 6, Raising White Kids by J. Harvey.
Defining Racism & Glimpsing Its Effects on Housing & Wealth
This session will explore the social determinants of health & well-being by looking at the historical processes that have shaped the vast inequalities in housing and in the accumulation of wealth. It will touch on the significance of The Great Migration, Urban Renewal, Racial Redlining, the GI Bill, School Segregation/Busing and how those dynamics still affect where folks live, the resources they have, the stress they experience, and the toll it takes on their overall health. Possible video to watch: also view 25 minutes of “The House We Live In”, Part 3 of the PBS series Race: The Power of an Illusion or the PBS documentary by Bob Herbert: Against All Odds: Chasing the Dream: https://www.pbs.org/wnet/chasing-the-dream/films/against-all-odds/
Possible pre-reading: “What is Racism?” by Ijeoma Oluo, Ch. 2, So You Want to Talk About Race?.
A Focus on Implicit Bias, Assumptions, Stereotypes & Micro-aggressions
This session will explore how implicit bias and stereotypes get in the way of fostering good/healthy relationships across racial differences and how we can become more aware of these dynamics and work to minimize them in our own lives.
Strategies & Steps for White Folk to Become Better Allies
In this session, I ask participants to think concretely about our own lives and commitments. How can we act in ways that move the needle in our own lives/spheres of influence? Participants will first map these spheres. Together, we will explore practical work, e.g. being intentional in how we engage with our families, friends, and enact our vocations. We will explore what being an ally really looks like and how we can work on issues that profoundly affect the lives of communities of color. Possible pre-reading: “Talking is Great, but What Else Can I do?” by Oluo (PDF of Ch. 17, So You Want to Talk about Race?); “For White Women Learning Calculus in a School Building on Fire” by Jennifer Harvey. “What Does Resistance Look Like” also by Harvey (PDF of Ch. 7, Raising White Kids).