RACIAL JUSTICE

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Watch Now: Responding to Racism

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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

Updated 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/

Updated 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.


Updated 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


Updated June 15, 2020

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


Updated June 8, 2020

Catholic Resources for Racial Justice

Lasallians Call for Racial Justice 


Updated 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.

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