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.

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.

Equity and Inclusion Project


Click here to return to the latest update

I Was Never Taught About Kwanzaa

Seven Kwanzaa candles lit on a table surrounded by fresh fruit and a bronze statue of an elephant

I Was Never Taught About Kwanzaa

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

When I think back about my own education, I get a little angry. My curriculum rarely included any mention of people who look like me. One of the only times Black people were brought up in my history classes was when we talked about the enslavement of a race of people, and that history was filtered and bleached. We would talk about a few Black individuals who made contributions to this country, but they were always the same people every year. Eli Whitney and the cotton gin often came up. George Washington Carver and the wonders he could do with peanuts was a yearly lesson. Frederick Douglass and his wild hair would make an appearance. Malcolm X would be mentioned casually, but we couldn’t dive too deep into him because he was "dangerous." Of course, Martin Luther King Jr., was mentioned, but the vitriol that was often directed towards him when he was alive was "forgotten." The poet Gwendolyn Brooks and author James Baldwin (he was dangerous too) appeared as our only literary heroes. I heard more about Black athletes and entertainers, but the pathway to those careers was narrow and treacherous. Nowhere else did I see where people like me contributed to this country’s creation, which made me mad. I felt like valuable information was kept from me, information that would have helped me create a more confident me. I felt cheated.

In the ’90s, long after my elementary school years, it happened again. A friend of mine asked me if I celebrated Kwanzaa and I replied I hadn’t because I didn’t know what it was. He was generous enough to explain it to me and I couldn’t believe this had been around since the '60s and I had never heard about it. No one had ever taught me about Kwanzaa. It has such a rich and powerful message that I wished I had been made aware of it much sooner.

Sister Joan called me a few weeks ago and asked if I was going to do anything with Kwanzaa and I shared candidly that I didn’t know much about it. I was ashamed to admit that, but it was true. Sister Joan was kind enough to share with me a summary of Kwanzaa from the Black Catholic Project, which I have linked below. I hope you will join me in learning about and celebrating such an amazing tradition. Next year I will do more around Kwanzaa, now that I know more about it.

Black Catholic Project: Kwanzaa


your Comment will be showing after administrator's approval

b i u quote

Save Comment
Showing 0 Comment

Subscribe to receive these blog posts directly to your email inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time and we do not use your information for any other purpose.

  • Equity and Inclusion Blog

Search Equity and Inclusion Blog

Recent Posts

  • Will We Speak Up? Posted 5 months ago
    I recently watched a video of a college lecture. The students were listening intently to the professor and in mid-sentence the professor stopped and singled out one female student. He spoke directly to her ...
  • Black Catholic Project: Dr. C. Vanessa White Posted 6 months ago
    Black Catholic Project: Dr. C. Vanessa White Dr. C. Vanessa White comes from a family of ministers of various faith traditions. She has known from a young age that she was being called by God ...
  • Woman We Should Know Posted 6 months ago
    by Kevin Hofmann Director of the Office of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion In honor of pride month, I wanted to lift up women in the LGBTQ+ community and highlight their activitism. Three activists and trail-blazers you ...
  • The History and Significance of Pride Month Posted 6 months ago
    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 ...
  • Curiosity Makes Better Friends Posted 7 months ago
    The new family was moving in and the neighborhood was buzzing. They were moving into the house on the corner of Outer Drive and Byrne in our Northwest Detroit neighborhood. Most of the neighbors ...
  • Black Catholic Project: Bishop Edward K. Braxton Posted 7 months ago
    Black Catholic Project: Bishop Edward K. Braxton Bishop Edward Braxton was born on June 28, 1944, in Chicago, the third of five children of Mr. and Mrs. Cullen Braxton. After elementary school, Edward attended Quigley ...
  • Our Diverse Cultures Make us Stronger Posted 7 months ago
    May is National Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and honor the rich and diverse history and cultures, as well as the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders ...
  • May: Indian Heritage Month Posted 7 months ago
    May is Indian Heritage Month, a time to reflect on the rich and diverse cultures of the indigenous peoples of North America. However, it is also a time to acknowledge the atrocities that Native ...
  • Black Catholic Project: Toni Morrison (1931-2019) Posted 8 months ago
    Black Catholic Project: Toni Morrison (1931-2019) Our Black Catholic of interest this month is Toni Morrison. She is one of the great American authors whose novels are overflowing with spiritual overtones and an exploration into ...
  • Planting Seeds In Good Soil Posted 8 months ago
    by Kevin Hofmann Director of the Office of Racial Equity and Cultural Inclusion   April is Celebrate Diversity Month as well as Earth month! When I heard this is the month to celebrate diversity, I envision people ...
Read More »

People of African Descent on the Path to Sainthood

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