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In response to the proposal from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) that congregations focus on the dismantling of racism, the Adrian Dominican Sisters began by identifying resources that can assist us in raising our consciousness of white privilege and white supremacy, both personally and systematically.
From January 2021 through June of 2023, our Toward Communion: Undoing Racism and Embracing Diversity Committee and our Justice Promoters collaborated on a project to provide information on prominent Black and Indigenous Catholics who have made significant contributions to the church and society, along with reflection questions and a prayer.
In May of 2022, Kevin D. Hofmann was named the founding Director of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion for the Congregation. With the goal of normalizing conversations about race and culture and discussing what it means to feel included and excluded, Kevin began contributing to this blog in June of 2022. He shares his unique experience of growing up Black in a white family in Detroit and educates on topics of equity and inclusion.
by Kevin Hofmann
Director of the Office of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion
Pride Month, observed every June, is a vibrant and significant time for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies worldwide. It is a time of celebration, reflection, and activism. To truly appreciate the significance of Pride Month, we must delve into its rich history, tracing its roots back to the Stonewall Uprising and the subsequent milestones that have shaped the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Join us as we embark on a journey through time, exploring the origins, evolution, and continued importance of Pride Month.
1. The Stonewall Uprising: Pride Month finds its origins in the events of June 1969, known as the Stonewall Uprising. In New York City's Greenwich Village, the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay bar, became the site of a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history. Following a police raid, the patrons of the bar, tired of enduring regular harassment and discrimination, fought back. This resistance marked a turning point, sparking protests and demonstrations that would shape the future of LGBTQ+ activism.
2. The Birth of Pride: One year after the Stonewall Uprising, in June 1970, commemorative events took place in New York City, marking the anniversary of the uprising. These events, called Christopher Street Liberation Day, included a march that spanned from Greenwich Village to Central Park. This marked the birth of what would eventually become known as Pride parades and festivals.
3. Expanding Influence: In subsequent years, Pride events began to emerge in other cities across the United States and around the world. The growth of Pride celebrations created an opportunity for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies to come together, raise awareness, and advocate for equal rights. Pride became a powerful platform for visibility and solidarity.
4. AIDS Crisis and Activism: In the 1980s, the LGBTQ+ community faced a devastating health crisis — the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Pride events became an important platform for raising awareness about the virus, advocating for research, and supporting affected individuals. The iconic display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt at Pride parades brought attention to the magnitude of the crisis and the need for compassion and action.
5. Legal Progress and Social Change: Pride Month continued to witness significant milestones in LGBTQ+ rights. The 1990s saw advancements such as the repeal of anti-sodomy laws, the establishment of LGBTQ+ support organizations, and the fight for marriage equality. As societal attitudes shifted, Pride celebrations became more inclusive, welcoming people from diverse backgrounds within the LGBTQ+ community.
6. Global Impact: Pride Month has transcended national boundaries, spreading its message of equality and acceptance worldwide. Many countries now host their own Pride events, with each locale reflecting its unique cultural context. These celebrations, from São Paulo to Sydney, offer an opportunity for LGBTQ+ communities across the globe to unite and assert their rights.
Conclusion: Pride Month stands as a testament to the progress and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community. From its humble origins in the Stonewall Uprising, Pride Month has evolved into a global movement for equality, representation, and dignity. It serves as a reminder of the struggles faced by LGBTQ+ individuals throughout history, while also celebrating the achievements and milestones attained on the path toward greater acceptance. As we commemorate Pride Month, let us continue to advocate for equality, challenge prejudice, and build a world where everyone can live authentically and with pride.
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Black Catholic Project posts
Hofmann's Equity & Inclusion posts
All blog posts
Printable bookmark of African Americans on their Way to Sainthood (PDF)
Black Catholic History page by Seattle University
Timeline from the National Black Catholic Congress
Sister Jamie T. Phelps, OP, discusses Black Catholics in America with Dr. Paul Lakeland for Fairfield University's "Voices of Others" video series
News report on one of the oldest Black Catholic parishes in the U.S., St. Elizabeth Catholic Church (formerly St. Monica) in Chicago, Illinois