“We believe that another world is possible,
and that education is a fundamental force in building it.”

Declaration #12, Declaration on the Lasallian Educational Mission: Challenges, Convictions, and Hopes, Generalate, Rome, 2020, p. 122.


June 14 – July 16

Learn more about God’s gift of blackness to church and society and how you can promote racial justice.

2021 Cohort 1


“Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.” – Audre Lorde

The Education to Build a Racially Just World program will be accompanied by Kerri Mulqueen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education at Manhattan College. She will be facilitating our cohort gatherings and assisting us in the further development of this program.

Kerri Mulqueen, Assistant Professor of Education Clinical Practice Coordinator for Undergraduate ProgramsManhattan College, Bronx NY

“Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God ” -Romans 12:22

I want to grow spiritually and professionally by obtaining knowledge of theology and its connection to morality and racial justice.

Marta Rhea-Johnson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion Educational ConsultantDe La Salle Collegiate, Warren MI

Educators can be and should be agents for social justice. My hope for the summer courses is that they will help me close some of the gaps that stand in the way so that I can serve students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds in ways that truly matter.

Patrizia Costa, Director, The Brother David S. Baginski FSC Scholars Program
Central Catholic High School, Pittsburgh PA

I decided to enroll in the program because of my life-long commitment and passion to promote racial justice in our society and Lasallian community. Through the course Faith in Action: Catholic Support for BLM and anti-racism, I hope to grow in my work towards racial justice and anti-racism and create spaces for courageous conversations around combatting systemic racism in our Lasallian community.

Michele Beauboeuf, Director of EventsChristian Brothers Conference, Washington DC

I took the course to deepen my understanding of the history behind racism in the Catholic church. I want to help others see that we can change the pain of the past by uniting and working to build a better future together. A Racially Just World requires unity so let us unite and work tirelessly together — we CAN make a change!

Dr. Rhonda Hazel, Biology Department, Coordinator of Anatomy & PhysiologyLa Salle University, Philadelphia PA

Providing the tools and resources to make the world more just and more equitable is long overdue. The title Education to Build A Racially Just World describes the perfect quote for our much-needed racially and economically divided country. Sadly, from antidiscrimination laws to affirmative action efforts, minority groups continue to struggle and fight against racial and social injustice.

Nary Smith, World Languages Faculty Coordinator of International Students ProgramLa Salle College High School, Wyndmoor PA

“I know that suffering gives us new perspectives and helps us to clarify our real value. I know that suffering has helped me to clarify my relationships … Perhaps suffering stops us in our tracks and forces us to confront what is real within ourselves and in our environment.” – Servant of God, Sr. Thea Bowman

David Martinez, Religious Studies FacultyLa Salle Academy, Providence RI

I decided to enroll in this program to continue to build my toolbox to seek ways to further my personal and professional growth. I was inspired by Manhattan College’s 2021 valedictorian, Jeremy Capuduer, who encouraged everyone to be lifelong learners in his graduation speech. I hope that this program will help provide me the ability to further stand in solidarity with my Bronx community and my Manhattan college community in our journey to always choose anti-racism in every day.

Conor Reidy, Campus Minister
Manhattan College, Bronx NY

I see this opportunity as a chance to gain a deeper understanding of how race is viewed and valued through the Catholic lens. I hope to support the operationalization of diversity efforts in my institution, and I believe this experience will make me more effective in that endeavor. Participation in this opportunity will add to my metaphorical toolkit and give me an added lens with which to view the work.

Angelica Vazquez, Assistant Director of Operations, Public Safety
Manhattan College, Bronx NY

I am participating in this program as a way to learn more about the gifts that the Black Catholic community offers to the Church and to society.  Also, as a way to continue my personal journey of understanding the root causes of the sin of racism and how that needs to be addressed on a personal, communal and structural level.

Maryann Donohue-Lynch, Associate Executive Director, Office for Mission and Ministry, DENA

About this Program

The District of Eastern North America, through the DENA Racial Justice Coalition, is providing this opportunity as one of a number of efforts to:

  1. Support Lasallians throughout the schools and other educational ministries within DENA in their efforts to be more professionally educated with an understanding and appreciation of African Americans’ contributions to Christian faith, life, and witness, as well as to society writ large
  2. Increase access and opportunities for all Lasallians to participate in Association/Formation programs (part of DENA Strategic Plan for Association/Formation)
  3. Invite Lasallians to consider this question: Do I want to learn more about God’s gift of Blackness to the Church and society and to further promote racial justice and God’s plan to redeem the world?


    1. To deepen and advance understanding and appreciation of African Americans’ contributions to Christian faith, life, and witness, as well as to society writ large
    2. To consider the intersection with the Lasallian charism and our educational ministry and, in turn,
    3. To assist DENA Lasallians as well as DENA ministries to do the same.

Participants can earn graduate-level credits (that may be applied to a Masters degree) and Continuing Education Units (CEU) through online courses offered by both the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) at Xavier University (New Orleans, Louisiana) and the Black Theology and Ministry (BTM) at Catholic Theological Union (Chicago, Illinois).

With our shared passion, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we believe that we will make our world better for the long haul. “We believe in the transforming capacity of education” (Declaration #8, Generalate, Rome, 2020, p. 120).
“Racism has been with us for centuries but we have the capability of working together to ensure that it does not persist beyond this decade! …eradicating racism and promoting justice will take constant effort on the part of all of us.”Brother Visitor’s letter regarding racial justice

Questions & Additional Information

For more information, please contact Maryann Donohue-Lynch donohuelynch@fscdena.org

DENA Racial Justice Coalition Coordinating Committee

Brother Jack Curran, FSC – Manhattan College | jack.curran@manhattan.edu
Maryann Donohue-Lynch – District of Eastern North America | donohuelynch@fscdena.org
Brother Ernest Miller, FSC – La Salle University | miller95@lasalle.edu
Marta Rhea-Johnson – De La Salle Collegiate | mrhea-johnson@delasallehs.com