July 24, 2019, at the YWCA Wausau, Wi. During the press conference Naomi Release the statement:

  Good morning!  I am Pastor Bill Schruba.  I am a retired ELCA Lutheran pastor & Co-President of NAOMI.  NAOMI is a coalition of faith communities, individual people of faith & concerned citizens in northcentral WI.

        I am here to express our solidarity with Sadia & all those who have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, or violence on account of their race, creed or ethnic background.  

       We believe in the God-given dignity & infinite worth of all humans.  As people of faith, we are called to work for justice and liberation.  Racism, in any way shape or form, must not be tolerated. It is an evil we must face in our community.  It compels us, in whatever way possible, to build community, strengthen relationships & work for the common good of all in response to forces within society that seek to divide, demoralize, or silence us.  Complacency is not an option.

       As NAOMI, we take racial injustice seriously.  We have been engaged in a process of developing a statement on racial equity that will guide our practices, attitudes, & cultural messages as a coalition.  We are seeking to address issues of white privilege, language & prejudice so all members feel respect & are included.  

       Justice must not remain an ideal beyond our reach.  We encourage businesses, government, & community groups to join us in making justice a reality that touches the daily lives of their employees, constituents or members.  We encourage individuals as well to embody justice through words of kindness & acts of compassion.

       For us, anti-racism work is a lifelong spiritual journey.  We invite you to join us on this journey. The road ahead will not be easy.  As we walk side-by-side, we will find the strength & courage necessary to meet the challenges before us.  Together we can make a difference.

       Thank you.