RACIAL JUSTICE

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Racial justice is the systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice and racial equity goes beyond “anti-racism” to address the systemic, sinful roots of racism. It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measure. (Adapted from https://neaedjustice.org/resources/)

Dear Lasallians,

As we have celebrated Pentecost this past Sunday, we continue to invoke the Holy Spirit to fall afresh upon all of us in our one world.

Last Tuesday, we viewed the most painful (literally) breath-taking video of our lives. Six years ago, Eric Garner’s words, “I can’t breathe” were once again unheeded, this time as pleaded by George Floyd.

Since March, we have been hoping that, despite the sufferings of this COVID moment, somehow, our post-COVID world will be a better one, in education and in all dimensions of life. As devastating as this virus is, we have every confidence that it will pass. Meanwhile, racism has been with us for centuries but we have the capability of working together to ensure that it not persist beyond this decade! As we often hear, “Enough is enough.”

I am sure that you join me in denouncing the breath-taking action of four police officers last week.

I hope that you are, like me, tired of statements and hashtags that rise to the surface too frequently (and then as quickly, disappear). I hope that you are as blessed as I am to know many incredible Lasallians (and others) who serve the public as courageous police persons. I trust that we all realize that, even in an era of instant gratification, eradicating racism and promoting justice will take constant effort on the part of all of us.

Over the past days, I have been engaged in conversation with Maryann Donohue-Lynch who serves our District in the areas of Advocacy and Social Justice. She has collaborated already to form a powerful set of resources for reflection and action. Counting students, parents, alums, staff, faculty, administration, Board members, donors and well-wishers, we have tens of thousands of Lasallians in DENA.

Today we invite each of you to participate in our newly established Racial Justice Coalition to guide our District in thought and action.

A Coalition of thousands may be unwieldy but we hope to have the happy problem of too many members. We will find a way to organize committees so that your voice will be heard. If you want to join virtual arms with other DENA-ites in real sharing and planning, please click the button above, and use the online form to sign up for the Racial Justice Coalition.

Some thirty years ago, I was on the faculty of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School. On retreats, in Religion class and in personal conversations, students (especially the young black men) spoke of the harassment, scrutiny, threat, and (thus) fear they lived with. It was heart-breaking then. It still is. Enough is enough! With our shared passion and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we believe that we will, in fact, make our world better for the long haul. Please join us.

Please join us—sign up today!

Respectfully,

Brother Dennis Lee, FSC 

RACIAL JUSTICE RESOURCES

Prayer for Peace

September 21, 2020

DC Archbishop Gregory and Others Discuss Racism and Faith

Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. participated in a dialogue with others concerning the ongoing protests across the nation that were sparked by the death of George Floyd while in police custody.


September 7, 2020

On September 24 International Association of Lasallian Universities (IALU), which represents the 64 institutions across the world, invites you to Global Perspectives on Racism livestream event  9:00 am EDT

The Panelists

    • Dr. Kristi J. Kelly from Lewis University, Romeoville, IL
    • Brother Armin Luistro, FSC, PhD from the Philippines
    • Dr. Jamil Khader from Bethlehem University, Palestine
    • Brother Francisco Pérez from Guatemala
    • Moderator: Brother Ernest Miller, FSC, D.Min from La Salle University, Philadelphia

For additional information and to register for this event, please visit this site: Global Perspectives on Racism


August 31, 2020

Bellow, Kathleen Dorsey.  “Black Catholic Women: Voice Embodied”. National Catholic Reporter, July 8, 2020.

Clarke, Kevin. “After weeks of protest and calls to defund the police, where do we go from here?”, America, June 12, 2020.

Gehring, John.  “Necessary Bluntness:  Archbishop Gregory’s Stand for Integrity”, Commonweal Magazine, June 9, 2020.


August 17, 2020

Let The Holy Spirit Guide How We Talk About Race by Grace Ji-Sun Kim. To make conversations about race more productive, use different metaphors for God.

What Will It Take To Redeem The Soul of America? by Bryan Massingale. Racism today is revealed in the pervasive lack of concern to the horrors and scandals unfolding in our midst.

Check Your White Privilege a U.S. Catholic interview with Sister Helen Prejean. The eye-opening experience that sparked her lifelong commitment to justice.


August 10, 2020

#Black Catholic Syllabus – Dr. Tia Noelle Pratt, Curator

This syllabus is a collection of resources related to Black Catholics in the United States. It is intended for academics, journalists, educators, diocesan institutions, parishes, congregations of women and men religious, and the general public. This syllabus prioritizes the work of Blacks in order to center the voice of Black Catholics in the creation of their own narrative.

Tia Noelle Pratt, PhD is a higher education professional, researcher, and inclusion & diversity specialist based in Philadelphia, PA. She received her PhD in sociology from Fordham University in 2010. A sociologist of religion by training, she is an expert in systemic racism with twenty years of experience researching and writing about how systemic racism impacts African-American For 2018-19, she was the inaugural Scholar-in-Residence at the Aquinas Center in Philadelphia, PA. She is also the President and Director of Research at TNPratt & Associates, LLC. Dr. Pratt ’95 currently serves on the Board of West Catholic Preparatory High School, Philadelphia, PA. (read more about Dr. Pratt)


August 3, 2020

Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation
Representative John Lewis

Billings, Cora Marie. “Saved by Grace: Striving for a more racially just and equal church”
America, June 24, 2014.

Christian, Gina. “Work for racial justice starts with study of Black Catholic experience”
CatholicPhilly.com, June 23, 2020.


July 27, 2020

John Lewis

On July 17, 2020, our nation and the world lost two Civil Rights heroes. May we be inspired to engage in “good trouble.” for the sake of God’s Kingdom of peace, justice and equality for all.

John Lewis: Good Trouble
In her intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis’s life and legacy, director Dawn Porter takes us through his more than 60 years of extraordinary activism-from the bold teenager on the front lines of the Civil Rights’ movement to the legislative powerhouse he is today. After Lewis petitioned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to help integrate a segregated school in his hometown of Troy, Alabama, King sent “the boy from Troy” a round trip bus ticket to meet with him. From that meeting onward, Lewis became one of King’s closest allies. He organized Freedom Rides that left him bloodied or jailed, and stood at the front lines in the historic marches on Washington and Selma. Lewis continues to protect civil rights today as a sitting Member of Congress. He never lost the spirit of the “boy from Troy” and still calls on his fellow Americans to get into “good trouble.” JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE is a moving tribute to the real hero at the forefront of many hard-won battles for lasting change. Watch this video.

Rev. C.T. Vivian, legendary civil rights leader, reflects on his life.  Cordy Tindell Vivian was an American minister, author, and close friend and lieutenant of Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement. Vivian resided in Atlanta, Georgia, and founded the C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute, Inc.
Listen to his message of hope.


July 20, 2020

So You Want to Talk About Race: Ijeoma Oluo
LET’S TALK Book Discussion

Common Terms
by Catholic Volunteer Network

Bishop Anthony Taylor’s Statement on Black Lives Matter


July 13, 2020

Books That Help Us Understand Race, Racism and Social Justice in the United States

When Affirmative Action Was White by Ira Katznelson

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

The Detroit School Busing Case by Joyce Baugh


July 6, 2020

Dr. Shannen Dee Williams is the Albert LePage Assistant Professor of History at Villanova University. She is completing her first book, Subversive Habits: The Untold Story of Black Catholic Nuns in the United States. Follow her on social media and read her articles at America MagazineNational Catholic Reporter, and U.S. Catholic.

Fr. Bryan Massingale is one of the world’s leading Catholic social ethicists and scholars of African-American theological ethics, racial justice, and liberation theology. Buy his book Racial Justice and the Catholic Church. You can also read his work in National Catholic Reporter and U.S. Catholic

Georgetown University School of Law: Rethinking Policing: Activism and Reform
The police killing of George Floyd has spurred mass protests and a national conversation on ending police brutality and racial injustice. This series aims to educate and empower individuals, communities and the next generation of leaders pursuing meaningful change.https://www.law.georgetown.edu/news/rethinking-policing-series-activism-and-reform/

June 29, 2020

Why Do You Have to Make Everything About Race? America Magazine

Practical Steps for Eradicating Racism USCCB

Combating Racism USCCB

I Can’t Breath – A Litany for Justice Fr. Rafael Garcia S.J.


June 22, 2020

How Catholic vigils for racial justice can center the black experience

Podcast: Pope Francis challenges pro-life Catholics on racism

The Educational Service of the Poor and the Promotion of Justice: A Report General Council of the Brothers of the Christian Schools

The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015
A Pastoral Letter by His Excellency, The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton, Ph.D., S.T.D. Bishop of Belleville, Illinois


June 15, 2020

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe Gratefulness Network


June 8, 2020

Catholic Resources for Racial Justice

Lasallians Call for Racial Justice 


June 1, 2020

Articles, podcasts, videos, posters

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice

Statement by United Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Death of George Floyd and the Protests in American Cities

How Can Catholics Help Lead the Fight Against Racism?

Education for Justice

If you are interested in participating in the DENA/EJP partnership please contact Maryann Donohue-Lynch donohuelynch@fscdena.org for information.

Watch Now: Responding to Racism

Lasallians Denounce Violence

Call for Action, Justice, Prayer

Districts and ministries in the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) stand united in denouncing the killing of George Floyd, calling for action and change, and taking steps to make real change happen.


For additional resources, statements and plans of action from across RELAN, visit the Regional website

Letter from the Superior General

5 June 2020

Dear Brothers and Lasallian Partners of RELAN,

In the readings of the liturgy for June 3 Saint Paul writes to Timothy that the “word of God is not chained.” For this reason, he says, “I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory.”

We know that God wills that all be saved. We are all chosen. We are all sisters and brothers. We are one family. As Lasallians, we know this truth; we live this truth. We believe as today’s Gospel recounts that the two greatest commandments are love of God and love of neighbor.

In this difficult time for our country, we echo Pope Francis’ conviction of what God seeks from us:

The Lord asks us and, in the midst of our tempest, invites us to reawaken and put into practice that solidarity and hope capable of giving strength, support and meaning to these hours when everything seems to be floundering.

Lasallians are people who live in solidarity with neighbors near and far, who witness to fraternity, where the dignity of everyone is respected and honored. Like the many good people in our local communities, we are at our best when everything seems to be floundering. We know that racism, poverty and injustice are endemic in society. These evils are not easily eradicated. Therefore, we persevere in our educational mission to bring about systemic change for a more just and peaceful world for everyone.

Today, we call on all political leaders to be healers and unifiers; to heal divisions among our citizens, uniting all for the common good. Today, we recommit to our educational and evangelizing mission to bring healing and unity to our communities, our schools and our societies.

Your Brother in Saint La Salle,

Brother Bob

Brother Robert Schieler, FSC


Download Brother Superior’s letter as a PDF