Open Wide Our Hearts: Diocesan Anti-Racism Campaign

The Diocesan Ad Hoc Committee against Racism explores and implements concrete solutions to address the racism that still pervades our society and our Church today, and works in collaborative ways to strengthen the response of all people to this evil.

This mandate includes the following areas of responsibility:

  • Devise a diocesan strategy to lift up the voice of faith against racism in our parishes and communities.
  • Promote Listening sessions and other gatherings concerning racism within and outside of the Church, including a better understanding of its roots and impacts (spiritual and civil, individual and structural), as well as the voices of people suffering because of it.
  • Creation and dissemination of theological, liturgical, pastoral, and community resources.
  • Education and catechesis, including work with dioceses departments and parishes, about racism and effective models to respond to it.
  • Implementation of the USCCB’s pastoral statements on racism.
  • Communications strategies that promote effective responses to racism.
  • Focused evangelization with an aim toward understanding racism and the need for healing and reconciliation;
  • Outreach and coordinated activity, including interfaith and ecumenical work, to combat racism.
  • Public policy advocacy focused on issues that perpetuate or are a result of racism.

Long term goals:

  1. Integrate racism topics and awareness into the fibers of diocesan operations (Parishes, Catholic Schools, Newman Centers, and Diocesan Departments).
  2. Design educational opportunities for clergy and lay people in the diocese to learn about racism, meaningful dialogue, criminal justice/prison reform, clergy-law enforcement relationships
  3. Foster ecumenical relationships and collaboration to lift up the voice of faith communities against racism.

More Resources

Visit the USCCB page on Combating Racism to read the pastoral letter against racism and find other resources: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/index.cfm