Truth and Reparations: Dismantling the Structures and Repairing the Damage of Racism in Minnesota
Presented by the Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs, Program Director for Racial Justice, Minnesota Council of Churches, MCC
At today’s forum, Rev. Jim Bear Jacobs will speak about Minnesota Council of Church’s Truth and Reparations: Dismantling the Structures and Repairing the Damage of Racism in Minnesota. Truth & Reparations is an ambitious 10-year project approved by the MCC Board in October of 2020. The vision includes Truth and Reconciliation commissions, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainings in congregations, and reparations to BIPOC communities for the harm done by white supremacy in Minnesota.
We hope to make a connection with MCC’s Truth and Reparations initiative and Pilgrim’s ‘In My Neighborhood’ reparations project, understanding the historic systemic and housing racism in our neighborhood and discerning a reparative response that can open a new path for Pilgrim in its 2nd century in this place.
About Jim Bear Jacobs
Born in St. Paul, he is a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, an American Indian tribe located in central Wisconsin. He has degrees in Pastoral Studies and Christian Theology and has served various churches as youth minister, adult Christian educator, and director of Men’s Ministries. Presently he is parish associate at Church of All Nations Presbyterian Church. He is a cultural facilitator in the Twin Cities and works to raise the public’s awareness of American Indian causes and injustices. He is founder/convener of “Healing Minnesota Stories,” an initiative dedicated to creating events of dialogue, education, and healing, particularly within faith communities. He is currently the Director of Racial Justice for the Minnesota Council of Churches.
As a frequent guest preacher and teacher at Pilgrim, as well as Sacred Sites guide, Rev. Jim Bear’s last pre-COVID forum with Pilgrim was guidelines in developing and living into our own Land Acknowledgement Statement which we have published and read monthly:
"This land is not just this address. From time immemorial there was a people whose lives and story were woven into this land. Pilgrim Lutheran Church stands on the ancestral homeland of the Dakota people. They were forcibly exiled from their land starting with the treaties of 1837 and 1851 and were nearly exterminated after the 1862 US Dakota war. Today we acknowledge the Dakota people, past and present, for their ongoing story, stewardship and care of this land. We condemn and lament the way colonialism pillaged both the land and the Dakota way of life. Pilgrim Lutheran Church commits to ongoing efforts to recognize, support, and advocate for the Dakota and other Indigenous peoples. Let us take a moment of silence to imagine the sounds of the Dakota people living and flourishing here, before this land was colonized."