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On Exhibit at INAI Gallery

August 5, 2022, Adrian, MichiganUnraveling Racism: Seeing White, an art exhibit exploring the hidden strands of systemic racism in the United States, opens September 2, 2022, at INAI: A Space Apart. Laura Earle is an artist and curator of the exhibit, which is being presented as a partnership of INAI and Siena Heights University.

The exhibit runs through Sunday, November 13, 2022. An artists’ reception is from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, October 23, 2022, with a special invitation for Siena Heights University students to attend from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. All guests will be screened for COVID-19 and are required to wear masks.

Laura will give a talk on the exhibit at 7:00 p.m. Monday, October 24, 2022, in Rueckert Auditorium, Dominican Hall, Siena Heights University. She previously presented an excerpt of Unraveling Racism: Seeing White in 2019 at Northwest Gallery of Art in Detroit.

The exhibit is the result of the work of 12 Michigan artists who gathered to share personal experiences and to create an artistic dialogue around the issues raised in John Biewen’s podcast, Seeing White. The artists gathered to listen to the podcast and to uncover the impact and history of whiteness in the United States. The result is a lively body of inclusive, interdisciplinary, and collaborative artwork.

Participating artists are Michael Dixon, Laura Earle, Michelle Graznak, Donna Jackson, Rita Lee, Azya Moore, Nora Myers, Mia Risberg, Trisha Schultz, Will See, Laurie Wechter, and Margi Weir. 

Sister Suzanne Schreiber, OP, Coordinator of INAI Gallery, is pleased to offer the exhibit. “It is in sync with our Adrian Dominican philosophy as we reckon with racism in our own community, our history, and ourselves,” she said.

INAI (pronounced in-EYE, meaning “within” in Japanese) is a contemplative space and art gallery that resonates with the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Vision: to seek truth, make peace, and reverence life. It houses an art gallery, a quiet space for personal reflection and meditation, and an art room. INAI: A Space Apart is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily, or by appointment. Call 517-266-4090 or 517-266-4000.

Weber Center is on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian. Enter the Eastern-most driveway of the complex and follow the signs to Weber Center. For information, call the Weber Center at 517-266-4000.

July 15, 2022, Washington, D.C. – As the United States reeled under a series of tragic mass shooting incidents, Sister Judy Byron, OP, brought a unique perspective to a panel discussion exploring gun violence. She spoke of the role of socially responsible investors working with gun manufacturers to encourage them to do their part in keeping society safe from gun violence. 

Sister Judy is the Coordinator of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment in Seattle, Washington, and Consultant for the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB). She was participating in a panel discussion, “After Buffalo, After Uvalde, After Tulsa: Broken Hearts, Broken Nation, Faithful Action,” as part of Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life. John Carr, Co-director of the Initiative, moderated the panel discussion.

Sister Judy noted that women religious have, for 50 years, used investments to promote social justice and the common good through their work as members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). “We began to notice that whenever there was a mass shooting, every entity would put out a statement, but we never heard from the gun manufacturers,” she said. 

During every shareholder season since 2019, members of the ICCR have brought resolutions to gun manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger and Company, asking them to respect human rights and engage in a risk assessment of their products, Sister Judy explained. A coalition of faith-based socially responsible investors led the stockholders of Sturm, Ruger to pass a resolution on June 1, asking the company to prepare a Human Rights Impact Statement on their products. 

Sister Judy also spoke to her personal connection to the shootings as a 25-year teacher. “I’m heartbroken,” she said. When she was a teacher, “we had fire drills and earthquake drills, but the children were happy and safe.” After the mass shooting of students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary Schools, she realized that the adults of the nation needed to do something to prevent gun violence and keep children safe.

On the positive side, Sister Judy spoke of her pride in the response of the Catholic Church to the mass shootings. “The response has been what it should be,” she said. “We have seen our Church at its best.”

Other panelists spoke of their own response to the shootings. Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio recalled his visit to Uvalde, Texas, after the shooting at Robb Elementary School. 

“Something that was very strong in my heart was I need to be there and to connect with the people,” he said. Because the people of Uvalde are so close-knit, finding them was easy, he said. “You got to see suffering, pain, some kind of numbness proper to a shock experience, and a lot of tears.”

He spoke in particular of the need to listen to the stories of the people suffering from the gun violence. “We need to know how to be with the people right there,” he said. “At the level of policy, guns have been idols and we treat them like that – sacred – and with those arms we kill children and [other] innocent people.”

Father Bryan Massingale, Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University in New York and author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church (2010), visited Buffalo, New York, after 10 Black people were killed during a mass shooting at Topps Friendly Market grocery store. 

Like all hate crimes, Father Bryan said, the shooting in Buffalo sent a message. “The message we got is that this is a country where our lives are not safe, a country where our lives don’t matter,” he said. “What we see in Buffalo is the end result of years of racial manipulation, the appeal to racial fears, telling white people that their privileged status is in danger.”  

Father Bryan reiterated the message of Pope Francis that Catholics cannot turn a blind eye to racism. “The deepest problem for Catholics is not if we believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist,” he said. “The deepest problem for Catholics is do we believe in the presence of Christ in Black and Brown bodies?”

Sister Mary Haddad, RSM, President and CEO of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), visited St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after a mass shooter killed five people. “I was shocked, but this time it was personal,” she said. “St. Francis is a member of CHA.” During her visit, she conveyed the condolences of many people to the healthcare workers, who she described as resilient. 

CHA’s position on gun violence “is informed by faith, but also by our healthcare workers who see the results of gun violence,” she said. “We need to make all institutions safe.” She added that gun violence is a public health issue, which has seen a 49% increase in five years and a 75% increase in 10 years.

Also on the panel was Rhina Guidos, a Catholic News Service reporter who covered the Catholic Church’s response to the shootings. “The response from the Catholic Church is what the pope intended when he talked about the field hospital” – that the Church should care for those who are suffering. “We saw that in Uvalde, Buffalo, and Tulsa.”

The entire discussion can be viewed here.



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