‘Celebrating Black Joy’ theme of 2021 Black History Month at LSTC

January 29, 2021

Updated 2.18.2021

Join the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) in Celebrating Black Joy during Black History Month. A wide range of virtual events will touch the mind, body and spirit through worship, academic discussions, poetry, artwork, and song. All events are open to the public with registration to receive the Zoom links.

“So often, Black people are invited to teach others through the lens of their pain. This Black History Month let us explore the resilience of the Black people through the intricacy of Black joy,” said Sharei Green, a master of divinity student at LSTC. She and Stephen Styles, also a LSTC MDiv student, led planning for this year’s celebration.

Event partners

The Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Metro Chicago Chapter of the African Descent Lutheran Association (ADLA), and LSTC’s Antiracism Transformation Team are co-sponsors with LSTC for the monthlong celebration.

A Center of Christian-Muslim Engagement for Peace and Justice at LSTC partnered with Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Young Chicago Authors and Silk Road Rising for “Black Voices of Transformation,” an interfaith spoken word event of poetry, music and comedy. American Islamic College and the Interreligious Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary are co-sponsors for this event.

Event and registration information

Register separately for individual events using the links below. If interested in receiving information about every event, you may also register for all of the events. Event Zoom links will be emailed the day of the event. Times for all events are Central standard time.

Black Joy through Art curated by Gallery Guichard may be viewed in person Feb. 1-26, in the LSTC Refectory windows, 1100 East 55th Street, Chicago.

Celebrating Black Joy opening worship, Monday, Feb. 1, 11:15 a.m.

Community worship with a libation ritual and Nikkeya Berryhill, MDiv, candidate for ordination, preaching.

Register here.

Celebrating Black Joy worship, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 11:15 a.m.

Robert E. Biekman, director for evangelical mission and associate to the bishop, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, will preach.

Register here.

Celebrating Black Joy panel discussion, Thursday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m.

Panelists Nicole Anderson Cobb, educator, activist, award-winning playwright, and journalist; Shaunna Payne Gold, educator, administrator and diversity and equity consultant; Lamont Anthony Wells, national president of ADLA and program director for Campus Ministry in the ELCA; and Rozella Haydée White, public theologian, spiritual life coach, writer and consultant, will frame the monthlong celebration. Denise Rector, LSTC PhD student, is the moderator.

Register here.

Black Joy in Faith worship, Wednesday, Feb, 10, 11:15 a.m.

Charles M. Straight, pastor, Faith United Methodist Church, Dolton, Ill., and president of The People’s Lobby Education Institute, will preach.

Register here.

Black Joy in Faith keynote, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m.

“Sitting with a Beloved Ancestor: James Cone and the Complexity of Black Joy,” presented by Marvin Wickware Jr., assistant professor of church and society and ethics at LSTC, and a student of James Cone.

Register here.

Celebrating Black Joy worship, Monday, Feb. 15, 11:15 a.m.

Fanya Burford-Berry (2018, MDiv), pastor and mission redeveloper of Mosaic Lutheran Church, Chicago, Ill., preacher.

Register here.

Black Joy through Art lunch and learn, Monday, Feb. 15, noon

Artists Tonika Johnson, founder of Folded Map Project, and Andre Guichard, co-owner of Gallery Guichard, and moderator LaShonda Curry, educator and community advocate, will examine ways Black Joy is celebrated in public art.

Register here.

Black Voices of Transformation: A Virtual Spoken Word Event, Thursday, Feb. 18, 6-7:30 p.m.

African-American artists from Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Young Chicago Authors, and other local connections will perform poetry, rap, music and jokes for this interfaith, socially conscious and personally inspiring event. Tasmeen Jamila emcees and artists include actress and singer Maggie Brown, spoken-word artist K-Love, Emmy award-winning hip-hop musician J.Kwest, Louder than a Bomb Indy Finalist Adarah Hale, comedian Preacher Moss, poet Obbie West, and spoken word artist Jason Williams.

Register here.

Complicated Joy: A Conversation on Black Joy in the Movement for Black Lives, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Join in a conversation with Waltrina N. Middleton, executive director of the Community Renewal Society, to talk about the nuances of Black Joy and how it shows up in community. 

Register here.

Black Joy Revival, Friday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m.

Join the LSTC community for a Black Joy Revival, the culminating event of Black History month. Rev. Sean Ramsey is the preacher and Rev. Vickie Johnson is the cantor for an evening of music, testimony, preaching and prayer.

Register here.


Sharei Green



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