White Church Truths

There are truths that must be faced
Head and shoulders of Dr. Michael O. Emerson


White Church Truths

November 5, 9:30am - 3:00pm

Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis

In order to work for racial justice there are truths that must be faced, even about the faith practiced in most Minnesota churches. At White Church Truths we will face the truths hidden in white Christian beliefs and open our eyes more clearly to the future – and white Christians' role in it.

In the U.S. today, an entire religion has developed around the worship of the dominance, centrality, privilege, and assumed universality of being white. Dr. Michael O. Emerson, author of “Blacks and Whites in Christian America,” offers a keynote. A response panel includes Felecia Boone, DEI consultant for Hennepin County; Rev. Kelly Sherman-Conroy (Lakota), Native theologian; and Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis, Lead Pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church.





Dr. Michael Emerson, Ph.D. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, is Professor and Department Head of Sociology at the University of Illinois Chicago. He is the author of 15 books, several of which have won national awards, and over 100 other publications. Most of his work focuses on the intersection of religion and race in the United States. His latest book, The Grand Betrayal: The Agonizing Story of Religion, Race, and Rejection in American Life, will be published next year. His talk will draw on findings from this book. He currently serves as chair of the leadership team of his local church, and resides in Chicago, but is a native of Minnesota.

Kelly Sherman-Conroy's Lakota name is Mato Waste Winyan (Good Bear Woman). She is a proud member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Currently based in Minnesota, USA, she is a Native American Theologian who walks with people of all cultures. She dedicates her time exploring with people around the world with the intersections of identity, personal narratives, faith, and healing through an Indigenous lens.

Rev. Dr. DeWayne Davis joined Plymouth Congregational Church as Lead Minister in December 2020. The son of two ministers and the youngest of fifteen children in Mississippi, Dr. Davis earned his BA (Magna Cum Laude) at Howard University and an MA at the University of Maryland (College Park). He was awarded an MDiv with Honors at Wesley Seminary (District of Columbia) and a DMin at Luther Seminary (St. Paul). He is ordained in the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.

Felecia A. Boone (she/her) is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant in local government, where she is also the administrator of the county’s Diversity Leadership Mentoring Program and Individual Contributor Mentoring Program. Outside of work, Felecia serves as vice-president of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA; is chair of the nonprofit Crossroads Community Organization board; is a member of the Board of Regents at Wartburg College; serves on the board of several other equity-focused community organizations, and leads and collaborates on a range of committees at her home church, Calvary Lutheran, always through a racial equity lens. Felecia is also a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).