Resources that Address the Social Injustice of Racism

The current climate of the United States has exposed once again the ugly truth that people of color in our country have long known: that systemic racism is not only a deep and grave sin, but one that exists in our society to this day. As Christians, we believe that every human life has inherent worth, as we are all created in the image and likeness of God. Racism in any form is in direct opposition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our mission as His followers.
While it is critical that we reiterate these truths, we know that words alone are insufficient. We must hear directly from people of color about their experiences, and then immediately move to act, fueled by the belief of the dignity of the human person.

First, we must listen to the stories of our brothers and sisters of color who experience racism firsthand.

In their pastoral letter against racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminded us that:
“As Christians, we are called to listen and know the stories of our brothers and sisters. We must create opportunities to hear, with open hearts, the tragic stories that are deeply imprinted on the lives of our brothers and sisters, if we are to be moved with empathy to promote justice.”
In the NCEA Webinar, The Responsibility of Catholic Schools to Address Racism, Hosffman Ospino, Ph.D., encourages us to intentionally create “safe spaces” where people can tell and listen to stories of personal experience of racism.
It can be a difficult task to hear these stories and to be witness to the hurt perhaps unwillingly caused, but it is a critical task for our growth. As the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) reminds us:
“We must reflect on how we are loving and respecting the dignity of others, especially our black brothers and sisters. And we must be willing to step out boldly and ask our community to hold us accountable when we are not.”

Then, we must allow the stories we heard to move us to act to ensure that the dignity of the human person will always be upheld, regardless of the color of their skin.

As our own Archbishop Blair said:
“The reform of society and institutions has to begin with individuals who are motivated to do what is right and who are prepared to work with others in a common cause for what is right and just.”
We who serve the schools and parishes of the Archdiocese of Hartford have that same responsibility to address the injustice of systemic racism in our country and institutions, and we must do so through a lens of our Roman Catholic faith. Simply put, racism is a life issue.
We echo the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) who stated:
“... We must ask God where we are being called to act. As Pope Francis stated, ‘we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life.’ We must discern how we can help defend our brothers and sisters in Christ when we witness injustice and racism. And we must ask what discussions we need to have or plans we must put in place to prevent racist acts in the future.”
We must reject the sin of racism, in all its forms, and stand with our brothers and sisters who have felt marginalized inside and outside of our Church. To that end, please take advantage of the resources we have collated below, from many national and local experts. Consider reviewing those in a category most pertinent to your school or parish ministry, and let us know if there are any resources we can add to benefit this important work.
Here are some links to help you navigate this page:

Back to Top

Resources from the National Church:

Back to Top

Resources specific to school and parish ministers:

Resources for use with children (for parents/families or school/parish personnel):

Back to Top

Virtual Offerings

Webinars and Videos:

Back to Top

Web Portals and Virtual Libraries: