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/)
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.
Brother Dennis Lee, FSC
RACIAL JUSTICE RESOURCES
September 21, 2020
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
- 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
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
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
by Catholic Volunteer Network
July 13, 2020
Books That Help Us Understand Race, Racism and Social Justice in the United States
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 Magazine, National Catholic Reporter, and U.S. Catholic.
- “If racial justice and peace will ever be attained, it must begin in the church” for Catholic News Service
- “The church must make reparation for its role in slavery, segregation” for National Catholic Reporter
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
June 29, 2020
Why Do You Have to Make Everything About Race? America Magazine
Combating Racism USCCB
I Can’t Breath – A Litany for Justice Fr. Rafael Garcia S.J.
June 22, 2020
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
June 8, 2020
June 1, 2020
Statement by United Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Death of George Floyd and the Protests in American Cities
Watch Now: Responding to Racism
Lasallians Denounce Violence
Call for Action, Justice, Prayer