As the Congregational Organizer for Racial Justice, Brenda Blackhawk works with leaders across the Minneapolis Area Synod to increase cultural competency, dismantle racist systems, and build relationships with groups working for racial justice and equity. She has worked with the synod on both environmental and racial justice initiatives, including attending an ELCA Churchwide training on dismantling oppressive structures within the church.
Brenda is a summa cum laude graduate of Iowa State University, where she majored in English and minored in technical communications, women’s and gender studies, and American Indian studies. She is currently working toward a certificate in web design from North Hennepin Community College.
While at Iowa State, she was president and editor-in-chief of the Sketch Literary Magazine and a learning community peer mentor. While there she was awarded the Director’s Choice for Undergraduate Student Writing. More recently, she was a “new store opening consultant” with Perkins Restaurant and Bakery, traveling to new stores to train staff and identify potential staff leaders.
Brenda is a lifelong member of Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis, where she has served a number of leadership positions. She spends her spare time hanging out with her six little siblings, reading, singing karaoke, and snuggling with her husband, Chris, and her German Shepherd-mix puppy, Luna.