Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet and was the first National Youth Laureate.

“Being American is more than
a pride we inherit,
it’s a past we step into and
how we repair it.”

click here to listen to Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem,
“The Hill We Climb”


Our Own Backyard

Swann v. CMS Board of Education

The 1971 Supreme Court case led to busing as a way to integrate schools around the country.

Charlotte led the way for integration across the country.

Now, 50 years later, following a federal mandate that ended busing,

CMS is one of the state’s most segregated school districts.

Southern Roots

In 1960, African American students staged a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro and refused to leave after being denied service.

The sit-in movement soon spread to college towns throughout the South. Though many of the protesters were arrested for trespassing, disorderly conduct or disturbing the peace, their actions made an immediate and lasting impact, forcing Woolworth’s and other establishments to change their segregationist policies.


Bayard Rustin was a primary organizer of the March on Washington, and a key figure early in the Civil Rights movement. He instigated one of the first Freedom Rides in 1947 & was one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 

One of Martin Luther King, Jr’s most important advisors, Rustin has often been overlooked because he was an openly gay man at a time when it was considered unacceptable. 

The Role of the Church

“What has been the case is still the case: skin color makes a difference and white people benefit from a privileged position. When we rebuild walls of hostility and live behind them—blaming others for the problem and looking to them for solutions—we ignore the role we ourselves play in the problem and also in the solution. When we confront racism and move toward fairness and justice in society, all of us benefit.”

-Excerpt from the ELCA Social Statement on
Race and Ethnicity 1993


There are many ways that you can make a difference as we work toward a more equitable future for all of God’s children. Start by getting informed about our history and the complex issues that contribute to racial injustice. We will review a different book every few weeks on this site as well as offering book, film and podcast discussions. Join one of our Justice Teams – they are outlined below and meet regularly. 

Support a business owned by a person of color.  This link is not exhaustive, but it is a good start. Contact Carol Schierlmann if you have a local business that would like to be added to the list. 

We will also update this section as local opportunities to plug in become available. 


Book Review

Ibram X. Kendi’s
“How to Be an Antiracist”

reviewed by Diane Wassum

“How to be an Anti Racist” opens our eyes to the pervasiveness of racism in every aspect of our daily life. The author, Ibram X. Kendi states, “Some of my most consequential steps toward being an antiracist have been the moments when I arrived at basic definitions.” Kendi defines and demystifies with clarity and simplicity what it means to have racist ideas. He defines racist policies for us and what impact those policies have on society. Kendi takes us through how racism pervades our entire culture, how we unfairly value/devalue human behaviors based on the color of our skin, how we allocate resources unequally based on race. He helps us understand capitalism with racism as a back drop.

Most importantly, Kendi clearly defines for us what anti- racism looks like in behavior and in policy… an essential read for anyone who wants to go beyond awareness of racism and take the next step towards advocating for an equitable society.

Faith & Film March 2022

An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.

The film begins with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world who are incarcerated are incarcerated in the U.S. Although the U.S. has just 5% of the world’s population. “13th” charts the explosive growth in America’s prison population; in 1970, there were about 200,000 prisoners; today, the prison population is more than 2 million. The documentary touches on chattel slavery; D. W. Griffith’s film “The Birth of a Nation”; Emmett Till; the civil rights movement; the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Richard M. Nixon; and Ronald Reagan’s declaration of the war on drugs and much more.

—Ulf Kjell Gür, review

Click here to review the trailer.

Watch the movie the 13th and join the Faith and Film discussion on March 31st at 6:30 p.m., at church or by Zoom.  See Members Dashboard for Zoom link information. 


Howard Thurman


The scholar whose words

inspired Martin Luther King Jr.

Howard Thurman

He was a shy man who didn’t lead marches or give dramatic speeches. But Howard Thurman was a spiritual genius who transformed history.

Read full biography…

Plugin To Advent’s Work!



By cultivating common ground, build and foster lasting relationships with AA/Black churches to enhance racial/cultural understanding


  • Bring AA/Black and White congregations together to get to know one another on a personal basis, to dispel prejudices based on stereotyping by both groups
  • Provide a more welcoming experience for AA/Black and other people of color (POC) as visitors to, and members of, the Advent community
  • Integrate already existing ELCA initiatives that promotes the vision of Team Partnership
  • Join Advent to larger AA/Black-led initiatives seeking an end to systemic racial injustice in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area
Education & Worship

Our goal is to plan and deliver educational opportunities to nurture folks at differing levels of readiness to engage with racial justice. We will offer foundational biblical background to the call to justice, coordinating with worship opportunities as appropriate. We will coordinate with the Partnership Team to invite other churches to participate when possible.

If you are interested in receiving information about this group, please reach out to Carol Schierlmann at We will post our meeting information here when we schedule our next gathering – all are welcome.

Racial Equity Action Partners

The goal of the REAP Team is to find ways to move from learning about the issues surrounding racial injustice to action. We seek tangible ways to plug in to the community to improve the lives of people of color. Examples of actions we have taken in the past include initiating petitions and writing letters to local government officials, attending peaceful protests and sending postcards to encourage voter registration and participation.

We meet monthly and the Zoom link is below – all are welcome. If you would like to get information, contact Brooke Watson-Summerour or Caroline Grubb.

Focus on the ELCA

Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent

Read full document…

Are you interested in learning more about this declaration?  We are planning a 5-week course to gather and discuss  the church’s statement and our role in racial justice work.

  • Advent Lutheran Church
  • 8840 University City Blvd.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina  28213
  • Email Us
  • 704-549-1555