June 16, 2020
A Message on Racism from Sons of Norway CEO Chris Pinkerton
Sons of Norway was founded by Norwegian immigrants on the principles of community support and solidarity in times of hardship. These values continue to form the bedrock of our organization, and as we reflect on the events of the past two weeks it is clear they are no less relevant today than they were at our founding 125 years ago.
We are deeply troubled by the senseless murder of George Floyd in our organization’s hometown—a product of unchecked systemic racism and violence, and a direct assault on the values we hold most dear. We mourn with our neighbors and community members in this time of nationwide distress and injustice; when our communities suffer, we all suffer. It is our collective responsibility not only to hope for a more just, peaceful, and inclusive society, but more importantly to strive for it through our words and actions.
The fraternal purpose of Sons of Norway is to strengthen our communities. With 50,000 members, we are uniquely situated to be a positive force of change, healing and hope in communities nationwide—starting with our own. Here at headquarters, we are dedicating time each month to educating ourselves on the topic of anti-racism and pushing ourselves to do better every day. See below for a list of suggested actions and resources for combating racism individually or with your lodge.
Thank you for joining me in this important work.
How can I help?
- Learn about anti-racism and implicit bias
- Discuss what you are learning with others in your community
- Work toward becoming a more effective ally to black communities and people of color
- Support black-owned businesses in your local community and online
- Donate to organizations that work to eliminate racial injustice
You can find a wealth of resources by searching for any of these topics online. Here are some examples to help you get started.
- “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” by Peggy McIntosh
- “Performative Allyship is Deadly (Here’s What to Do Instead),” by Holiday Phillips
- “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?,” by Ibram X. Kendi
Books and Audiobooks
- How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
- White Fragility, by Robin Diangelo
- So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
- I’m Still Here, by Austin Channing Brown
Films & Videos
- 13th (Documentary)
- How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion
- Let’s Get to the Root of Racial Injustice
- How to Overcome Our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them