Equity and Inclusion


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.

Since January 2021, our Toward Communion: Undoing Racism and Embracing Diversity Committee and our Justice Promoters have 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 and shares his unique experience of growing up Black in a white family in Detroit.

 

Equity and Inclusion Project

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A Cheated History

close-up of the astronomical clock in Prague, with colorful curves on its face, brass numerals and symbols, and carvings all around it

A Cheated History

By Kevin Hofmann
Director of the Office of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion

Over this last month, I have learned more about Black History than I ever knew. I loved reading about the strong woman who did so much for so many. It was truly inspiring to see these women excel in countless different areas. Their energy, dedication, intelligence, resistance, and creativity left me awe-struck. Some of the women crammed two or three careers in one lifetime while trying to avoid the many obstacles purposely put in their way. Being heard as a woman in the early 20th Century was an unsurmountable challenge for many. Being heard and seen as a Black woman was almost impossible, yet these women weren’t only successful, they thrived, outperformed others, and changed the world.

As I got the opportunity to study these women, I couldn’t help but think about how we have all been cheated. We were sold a version of American history that is incomplete at best. We were told Rosa Parks was the first, yet Lillie Mae Bradford beat her by four years. We were taught Madam C.J. Walker was the first and only Black female millionaire, yet she was preceded by her mentor and teacher, Annie Turnbo Malone. Mary Ellen Pleasant ear hustled her way to millions long before Madam C.J. Walker as well.

I marveled at the young Amanda Gorman whose pen was kissed by God. Her ability to write, draw us in, and heal us all in one sentence is unmatched, and I am comfortable knowing Ms. Gorman will help lead the next generation.

We should have been taught in grade school about wonderful women of color and how strong they were, how smart they were, and how ferocious they were. I am proud to be a part of their lineage and upset that most of us were deprived of the history of Black women and their contributions to this country.

As we escort Black History Month out and usher in Women’s History Month in March, I am excited to be given the honor of continuing to recognize women. The theme for this Women’s History Month is "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories." As a result, I will be publishing a weekly blog in March celebrating Women who have made a living telling us stories. I am excited about this opportunity to learn and share the stories of more amazing women.

 

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Printable bookmark of African Americans on their Way to Sainthood (PDF)

U.S. Black Catholic History Links

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