The core mission of the Office is to address the sin of racism by providing parishes and schools with the tools to initiate and enhance their efforts to combat racism. Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., established the Office for Racial Justice July 1, 2000. The Office is a direct outgrowth from the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Task Force on Racism as a response to the beating of Lenard Clark in 1997.
The Archdiocese of Chicago will
- Acknowledge that racism is a sin that has created a racist society in which the dominant culture benefits.
- Encourage Catholic to search their own hearts on the questions of how the sin of racism has touched them.
- Guide parishes to proclaim the gospel message that stresses our unity, and design pastoral responses that will help combat the sin of racism.
- Create educational opportunities in schools and parishes that will uncover the truth about racism in America and in our local communities while providing the means to bring about healing.
- Stimulate church involvement in community initiatives addressing issues of racial justice.
Initiatives are driven by three principles:
- A call to change attitudes and behaviors that will lead to a conversion of heart and reconciliation among peoples of every ethnic and cultural background.
- A commitment to take concrete, visible steps to dismantle personal and systemic racism.
- To witness through our lives and actions the unconditional love of God for all human beings regardless of their racial, religious, or national origin.
This recommendation is made the understanding that the archdiocese must combat racism in a manner consistent with the mission of the local church. Accordingly, we see that this commitment connects integrally with the Archdiocese's evangelization efforts in the new millennium.
HIGHLIGHTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- Cardinal George issues his pastoral letter DWELL IN MY LOVE: A Pastoral Letter on Racism Office for Racial Justice's establishes the Saint Katharine Drexel Racial Justice Award to be given to those individuals and groups in recognition of their efforts to combat racism and to build the "beloved community."
- Cardinal George appoints two Anti-Racism Implementation Teams (a Catholic Schools and a Pastoral Center team) to address the complex issue of institutional racism in our structures and service institutions and to eliminate all forms of institutional racism in our church and society.
- Cardinal George and the Administrative Council approves the Dwell in My Love Anti-Racism 20-year Strategic Plan to identify and redress unjust societal systems and structures that continue to support institutional racism where it exists in the departments
and agencies of the Pastoral Center and in all areas of Catholic Education.
For General Information
Office for Racial Justice - 312-534-8336
Workshops on Racism & Ethnic Sensitivity 312-534-5380
Anita Baird, D.H.M.
Sister Anita Baird, DHM is the founding director of the Office for Racial Justice, which was established by Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I. July 1, 2000. The Office is a direct outgrowth from the Archdiocese of Chicago's Task Force on Racism as a response to the beating of Lenard Clark in 1997. The core mission of the Office is to address the sin of racism by providing parishes and schools with the tools to initiate and enhance their efforts to combat racism.
Alicia Juarez was named Associate Director for the Workshops on Racism and Ethnic Sensitivity in March of 2004. Among her primary responsibilities, Alicia coordinates workshops on racism in both Spanish and English in a culturally sensitive manner throughout parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago and is responsible for publishing the office's quarterly newsletter, The Crossing. 312-534-8348
Gloria joined the Office for Racial Justice in September 2000 as the Secretary for the Workshops on Racism & Ethnic Sensitivity. As the secretary her responsibilities were to call parishes to check on their participation in the Workshops as well as preparing all materials for Phase I and some of the materials for Phase II workshops. Other responsibilities with the Phase I Workshop were creating a database of all the participants of the Workshop since its inception in 1997. In September 2003, Gloria became the Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Office for Racial Justice.
Phase II Facilitator
Sister Lois Prebil
Lois Prebil, osf is a Joliet Franciscan who has worked with the Workshops on Racism and Ethnic Sensitivity since 1998. Sr. Lois has a master’s degree in Organization Development from Loyola University. Sr. Lois works with all three phases of the workshops. She is a member of the phase 1 team; she has designed phase 2 and presents phase 2 workshops; and she lends support to phase 3 teams. In addition, Sr. Lois is a member of the Anti-Racism Team of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
For general information