Social Justice Committee
Our Social Justice Education Committee is moving ahead with its programming planned for this fall. First up is a group discussion of the book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson. Available in the original book or in a feature length and highly acclaimed movie, this true story deals in very instructive and visceral ways with the issues of redemption, forgiveness, mercy and justice.
While we had hoped to have an in-person version of this program, the recent increase in COVID Delta infections has led to moving to a zoom presentation, scheduled for Wednesday, September 22 at 7 p.m. The program will be led and moderated by Education Committee Chair, Maggie Ryan and include the following:
- Maggie will lead and moderate the discussion, providing an introduction and general discussion, followed by breakout groups.
- Prior to the program date, Maggie will distribute an excellent group of questions to focus and facilitate the discussion.
- Following the breakout sessions, the program will conclude with a re-gathering “closing session”.
In addition to the book itself, there are many resources providing summaries and reviews, and the movie can be accessed by a number of streaming services, including Amazon Prime, YouTube, Direct TV, Apple TV and others.
If you would like to participate in the program, please e-mail Maggie Ryan at email@example.com (phone: 314-584-9156) so that she can put you on the registration/ zoom sign up list.
Also, if you ‘d like to work with Maggie’s Education Committee in putting together these types of programs, let her know that, and join her committee.
Report of Planning Committee: April 2021
Our Planning Committee has completed its review of the overall strategies and priorities for carrying out our Social Justice mission; to call us to an understanding of and action to promote Catholic Social Justice teaching. The attached documents present the results to be presented to the full Social Justice Committee for review and additional input.
· A summary of our examination of Fratelli Tutti and its impact on framing our Social Justice objectives and programing.
· Proposed programming and structure based on three organizing principles:
– Educate ourselves and our community to identify multicultural truths and reduce bias
– Deepen relationships across our diverse community
–Act for equity and justice in accordance with Catholic social justice teaching across race, class, marginalized people
Proposed Committee Structure and Leadership
Educate: Maggie Ryan, and members of her existing team; additional members to be added.
Encounter and Deepen Relationships: Mimi Hendrix and Dave Dille, with additional co-leaders and members to be recruited.
Act for Equity and Justice: MaryDee Schmidt, Todd Dean with additional leadership, membership to be added.
Many thanks to the Committee members who participated in the planning effort: our hosts, Mary Dee and Ed Schmidt, Joycelyn Barnes, Kate Rowling, Fran Colletti, Maggie Ryan, Dave Dille, Colleen Richmond, Mary Jo Gorman, Mimi Hendrix and Monsignor Mike.
All provided great participation, energy and commitment to our mission!
Overview of Examination of Fratelli Tutti and Framing of CTK Social Justice Objectives
Summary of 2021 Planning Process
Provided by Kate Rowley
Inspired by Fratelli Tutti, we are in the process of further clarifying our work through the Social Justice Committee.
· To call the Christ the King community to an understanding of and action to promote Catholic social justice teaching
Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity & Multicultural Value
· “In the face of present-day attempts to eliminate or ignore others, we may prove capable of responding with a new vision of fraternity & social friendship that will not remain at the level of words.” P12
· “If a certain kind of globalization claims to make everyone uniform, to level everyone out, that globalization destroys the rich gifts and uniqueness of each person and each people. This false universalism ends up depriving the world of its various colors, its beauty, and ultimately, its humanity. For “the future is not monochrome; if we are courageous, we can contemplate it in all the variety and diversity of what each individual person has to offer. How much our human family needs to learn to live together in harmony and peace, without all of us having to be the same.” P63
· “Authentic social dialogue involves the ability to respect the other’s point of view and to admit it may include legitimate convictions and concerns. Based on their identity and experience, others have a contribution to make, and it is desirable that they should articulate their positions for the sake of a more fruitful public debate.” P117
Fratelli Tutti: On Truth
· “Only by basing themselves on the historical truth of events will they be able to make a broad and persevering effort to understand one another and to strive for a new synthesis for the good of all.” P129
· “Every “peace process requires enduring commitment. It is a patient effort to seek truth and justice, to honor the memory of victims and to open the way, step by step, to a shared hope stronger than the desire for vengeance.”” P129
· “Truth, in fact, is an inseparable companion of justice and mercy. All three together are essential to building peace; each, moreover, prevents the other from being altered…. Truth should not lead to revenge, but rather to reconciliation and forgiveness.” P30
· “Precisely because it entails esteem & respect for others, once kindness becomes a culture within society it transforms lifestyles, relationships, and the ways ideas are discussed and compared.” P128
· We are a single family, dwelling in a common home P19
· We are called to a love that transcends geography, borders, distance, societal and cultural boundaries
· Each human being is sacred P119
· Consumerist individualism has led to injustice P127
· Diversity of cultures, combined with a broader community approach, makes us better and richer as a family
We seek to learn…
· The truth in our history as a church and society, especially truths that may have been hidden
· The truth that each of our diverse family members experiences in society and our community
· More about our own biases and how they can impact behavior
· What others truly need, not what we believe they need
· Ways to provide service where we truly connect and build relationship with others
· Authentic social dialogue, generous encounter with others
· Building deeper multi-cultural relationships
· Joint learning as we engage in service
· Social justice as the path to peace
· Changing biased policies to improve equity and inclusion
· “a more dignified life for all” P118
· In the ways of the good Samaritan – we are compelled to support those around us, even/especially when they are different from us in some way
· By partnering with people in need, aiming for deeper relationship for mutual learning and growth
We acknowledge our work may cause tension and discomfort at times. Such difficulties are opportunities for growth. We seek to walk alongside each other on our path.
Organizing Principles – We Seek To:
· Educate ourselves and our community to identify multicultural truths and reduce bias
· Deepen relationships across our diverse community
· Act for equity and justice (in accordance with Catholic social justice teaching, across race, class, people who are marginalized)
CTK SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE
PROPOSED PROGRAMMING AND COMMITTEE STRUCTURE: 2021
SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMITTEE REPORT ON DISCUSSIONS ON RACISM:
“HOW TO BE AN ANTI RACIST”
There has been much discussion this year on race and racism. But what is “anti-racism”?
And how does one become “anti-racist”?
One of the programs implemented by our Committee is the establishment of a “book club”, and its first selection was picked to help understand and answer these questions.
The book is “How to Be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram Kendi. The author of this widely read book takes the reader through a combination of history, law, ethics and science, using a personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. In doing so, he asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we might play a role in achieving it.
The discussion of the book was led by Stacie Zink-Duda, in two zoom sessions held in November. As expected, it was a challenging read, with some excellent and eye-opening discussion.
Here are some of the major reactions and “takeaways” from the sessions provided by participants.
· “a heavy read, but with a helpful blending of personal experiences”
· “made me realize that too often we work on the symptoms, not the root causes”
· “it is more effective to change racist policies to provide greater equity than it is to try to change attitudes by moral suasion”
· Quoteworthy excerpt: – “The problem of race at its core has always has always been a problem of power, not a problem of immorality or ignorance”
List of Steps we can take, per Kendi:
– Admit that racial inequity is a problem of bad policy, not bad people
– Investigate and uncover racist policies causing racial inequity
–Figure out who or what group has the power to institute anti -racist policy
-Work with sympathetic antiracist policymakers to institute anti -racist policies
-Monitor to ensure antiracist policies reduce and eliminate racial inequities.
-When policies fail, do not blame the people. Start over and seek new and more
effective antiracist policies.
The Committee plans to continue its “book club” activity with a very entertaining and uplifting book, “Just Mercy”, by Bryan Stevenson. As you may know, this book has been made into a movie, and we hope to be able to access both media for this discussion. Stay tuned for its scheduling early in 2021.
Be ready to sign up, and join in the discussion and the learning.