The Racial Justice Team, in coordination with MSJC’s Steering Committee, organized a anti-racist training from Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training in February of 2022. There were over 25 participants from the Marianist Family. As a group, participants:
· Discussed systemic racism and its relationship to white dominant culture in the US
· Used a framework and common language to assess our current status
· Started discussing strategic work that our organizations and Family will need to do to dismantle systemic racism within our systems and beyond
As a Marianist Family, we want to be more inclusive, equitable, and accountable and this training was one step in that direction. This training created space for members of the Marianist Family to journey with a facilitator around the history of systemic racism and provide critical reflection on the impact of racism on and in the Marianist Family. MSJC is now planning a follow-up conversation to focus on next steps for our organization as we pursue this anti-racist work. The Racial Justice Team and MSJC’s ongoing hope is to identify barriers, provide tools to overcome these barriers, and develop leadership for the effort. We will continue to update our community as we move forward on this!
The Racial Justice Team has offered the Seeing White podcast series and dialogue for the Marianist Family to engage in more intentional, internal conversations and provide more space for conversion of hearts in regard to racial equity. It is helpful for us as as family to hold the mirror up to our own shortcomings and opportunities for growth and intentional invitation to address the evil of racism that still exists in our communities.
This program has now been run with five different cohorts and the Racial Justice Team is working to create follow up programming for past participants.
For the past two years, the MSJC Racial Justice Issue Team has hosted an event to commemorate Juneteenth, the day African Americans celebrate their freedom from slavery. These events have invited participants to join in sharing prayer, songs and dialogue focused on overcoming racism. The experience has been inspiring, challenging, and reflective.
Please see resources below from the Juneteenth 2021 program on how you can start doing the work of overcoming racism. A link to watch the 2021 Juneteenth gathering is also below:
• Celebrating Juneteenth PowerPoint
• A Guide to Continuing the Journey
• Media Resources on Systemic Racism
• 2021 Juneteenth Event Zoom Recording
The Racial Justice Issue Team is exploring ways our Marianist institutions are and/or could be living out the Church's mission of racial justice. Similar to how some Marianist schools have successfully addressed environmental sustainability efforts, we feel racial justice could become an integral part of how we talk about and do things at an institutional level.