Race Matters

To confront racism, we must look within, among, and beyond.

The Race Matters team focuses on the personal “within” work as it relates to issues of racial justice, a top priority for Mayflower members.

Statement of Purpose

We will create spaces where we can understand the spiritual and personal costs of racial injustice. We will increase Mayflower’s engagement with multi-cultural/multi-racial experiences in preparation for becoming a more diverse church community and a more effective ally in our racial justice work.

Race Matters Book Talk: Caste

Begins Tuesday, December 1, 7:00 pm
Join the Mayflower Race Matters team for an interactive Zoom discussion of Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. Wilkerson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and this, her latest book, examines how the U.S. attitude toward race reflects a well developed caste system, similar to that in place in India or in regards to Germany during the Nazi era. You are welcome to participate in the discussion whether or not you have read or finished the book.

This is the first in a continuing series of book discussions facilitated by Race Matters. Next up will be How to Be an Antiracist by Ibrim X Kendi. To participate, please email Beth Kittelson for the Zoom address: ekittelson@comcast.net.

Policing Education Series

  • Dismantling implies abolition of the current structure. However, advocates are looking to downsize funding or to shift money from law-enforcement to other programs and issues that go directly to communities. Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza said the “defund the police” movement means investing “in the resources our communities need.”
  • De-Funding is the shaving of the police department budget away from patrolling and para-military activities, with the goal to reduce socio-economic disparities.

Background Information:

  • In 2020 the Minneapolis Police Department budget was $193.3M, with 892 officers and 175 civilian employees.
  • Can the Minneapolis City Council de-fund the police and stop paying them? The Council must follow the City Charter, which requires the funding of a police force in the amount of at least 0.0017 employees per resident and provide compensation for them.
  • Who can change the City Charter? The City Council cannot do it alone; they need to have a 13-0 vote + the mayor’s approval.
  • Can the voters change the Charter? Yes, by a simple majority on a city-wide ballot question.
  • What is the Charter Commission? It is analogous to a Standing Constitutional Convention; it is a state agency that has primary oversight of the City Charter. The 15 members are appointed by the chief judge of the District Court.
  • The Minneapolis City Charter has been amended more than 100 times since 1920. The Commission meets month on the first Wednesday in City Hall #317.

Background articles on police issue in Minneapolis

Organizations involved in pushing for changes in the Minneapolis Police Department

League of Women Voters series on Policing in Minneapolis

Alexandria Herr (PhD student at UCLA, who has been writing on racism and environmentalism): Resources from her presentation October 11, 2020:

Other Articles



  • A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota (Sun Yung Shin)
  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies (Resmaa Menakem)
  • White Fragility (Robin DiAngelo)
  • Punching the Air (Ibi Zoboi, Yusef Salaam)
  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (Isabel Wilkerson)
  • How to Be an Anti-Racist (Ibram X. Kendi)
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (M. Alexander)
  • The White Racial Frame (Joe Feagin)
  • Stride toward Freedom (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)
  • Autobiography of Malcolm X (Alex Haley)
  • Black Feminist Thought (Patricia H. Collins)
  • The Fire Next Time (James Baldwin)

Children’s Books

  • A is for Activist (Innosanto Nagra)
  • A Kid’s Book About Racism (Jelani Memory)
  • All Are Welcome (Alexandra Penfold, author, and Suzanne Kaufman, illustrator)
  • Hammering for Freedom (Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illustrated by John Holyfield)
  • Hands Up! (Breanna J. McDaniel, illustrated by Shane W. Evans)
  • I Am Enough (Grace Byers, author, and Keturah A. Bob, illustrator)
  • Little Leaders: Bold Black Women in History (Vashti Harrison)
  • Sometimes People March (Tessa Allen)
  • Sulwe (Coretta Scott King)
  • The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks: Young Readers Edition (Jeanne Theoharis and Brandy Colbert)
  • Your Name Is a Song (Jamilah Thomkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Luisa Uribe)

Youth Books

  • Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love (Patricia McKissack)
  • For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf (Ntozake Shange)
  • The Bond (Sampson Davis)
  • Clap When You Land (Elizabeth Acevedo)
  • Dear Martin (Nic Stone)
  • Kindred (Octavia Butler)
  • The Poet X (Elizabeth Acevedo)
  • Bronx Masquerade (Nikki Grimes)


Films and TV Series: