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.
“Exploring Structural Racism & Moving toward Equity: We Can Do This!”
Overall description of the 3 sessions: In 2021, even as so many Christians value racial diversity and inclusion, still efforts to address systemic racism often falter. And the national climate is both profoundly divided and tense. What can people—of faith, of good mind and heart, of any/all racial/ethnic background and origin—do? Where do we start? These sessions invite participants to learn more about the realities we face and then to begin to strategize concrete, effective next steps and commitments for our own lives after Christikon—in our own respective spheres of influence. All are invited all along for the journey!
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 she came to be invested in white anti-racism work. She will invite participants to do the same via individual reflection. There will be a bit of time for participants to share a bit of their journey in small group discussion (pairs if possible).
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. If possible, we may view 25 minutes of “The House We Live In”, Part 3 of the PBS series Race: The Power of an Illusion.
Addressing Implicit Bias & Steps for Going Forward
In this 3rd session, we will first explore briefly how implicit bias/stereotypes work and how they are harmful. We will spend the majority of the session thinking 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 raise our kids; engage with friends, families & congregations.