The following resources – many from a faith perspective – can help in better understanding racial injustice and the importance of anti-Black racism work in the United States and, in particular, at Boston College. Our Jesuit, Catholic identity calls us to be ever more attentive, reflective and loving in a world so scathed by racism. By no means exhaustive, the list recognizes that each of us enters this conversation at different points. We hope something you find here may help in your work to build a community that upholds the dignity of the person and affirms that Black Lives Matter.

Preaching from Sr. Thea's Kitchen

Servant of God, Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA (1937–1990) championed a universal invitation to preaching as members of the Body of Christ. Bowman was known for integrating her Catholic tradition with Black spirituality. Campus Ministry is introducing Preaching from Sr. Thea’s Kitchen to center and amplify Black voices and experiences. This series will offer reflections from the BC Community about the intersection of scripture and Ignatian spirituality with racial justice. As Bowman’s ministry of joy proclaimed, Black is beautiful!

University Resources

Multifaith Communities

With all major faiths represented at BC, we offer many opportunities for students to learn more about their own faith traditions, to celebrate and worship together, and to join in fellowship with others, both on campus and at area services.

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African & African Diaspora Studies

Introduces histories, cultures, and experiences of African descended peoples to students; supports academic research; gives students opportunities to examine African legacies; links local Black communities with BC; and communicates the significance of people of African descent.

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Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center

Supports the undergraduate community with a particular focus on AHANA, multicultural, multiracial, and OTE students.

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Compass Mentoring

Incoming first-year AHANA students can connect with upperclass mentors, develop friendships, and gain a strong sense of community as they navigate their first semester of college through the Compass Mentoring Program.

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Office for Institutional Diversity

Supports the University's mission by promoting a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion for all members of the community.

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Employee Affinity Groups

Affinity Groups bring together individuals with common interests to facilitate efforts that promote education and awareness while helping advance and sustain a campus culture and climate that welcomes diversity and inclusiveness.

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Featured Resources

#BlackCatholic Syllabus
A collection of resources curated by Dr. Tia Noelle Pratt. This syllabus prioritizes the work of Blacks in order to center the voice of Black Catholics in creation of their own narrative. The document is for those who want to learn and think critically about issues such as: anti-Black systemic racism; white supremacy; racial justice; anti-racism; #BlackLivesMatter; the impact these issues have on the Church, and moving from individual level to organizational/institutional level thinking about these issues.

Countering Racism
Theological resources for countering white supremacy, anti-blackness and racial injustice from the Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church network.

Required reading: A Black Catholic Syllabus
U.S. Catholic offers a list of resources – many from prominent Black Catholic theologians, historians, and writers, along with others who study, write, and teach about the legacy of racism. The document contains resources introducing racial justice; the intersection of racial justice and faith; articles and interviews; church documents; suggested race scholars to follow; books for parents, and possible next steps.

Lead Me, Guide Me
Sr. Thea Bowman was instrumental in the publication of 1987's Lead Me, Guide Me: The African American Catholic Hymnal. This was the first hymnal of its kind and served to inculturate and animate the faith of Black Catholics. In the hymnal, Sr. Thea described the gifts of African American sacred song as holistic, participatory, spirit-filled, and life-giving. In honor of November's Black Catholic History month and the gift of African American sacred song, Campus Ministry recorded several songs from the hymnal. Click through the playlist starting with Lift Every Voice, below:

6 Guidelines I’ve Learned for Talking About Race
Sullivan McCormick, S.J., '15, considers suggestions he's embraced "as a white male who has failed, sinned, and continues to grow in conversations about race."

The Assumptions of White Privilege and What We Can Do About It
Fr. Bryan Massingale is a theology professor at Fordham University. He is the author of Racial Justice and the Catholic Church.

Breath & Fire
The Spirit moves us toward racial justice, writes theology professor M. Shawn Copeland.

How can Catholics help lead the fight against racism?
Olga Segura is the author of the forthcoming book Birth of a Movement: Black Lives Matter and the Catholic Church.

‘How long, O Lord?’ Psalm 13 is the Cry of Black Americans
Mario Powell, S.J., '03, writes in America about the sin of racism and the proximity required for change to be enacted.

Open Letter to a Friend Waking Up to Racism
Ángel Flores Fontánez, S.J., discusses the way ahead for those just engaging in antiracism work.

Racial Justice and Interfaith Cooperation
Racial equity is an interfaith movement, writes Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Core.

Revisiting Racism
Dr. M. Shawn Copeland looks at Black theology and its history of oppression within Christianity.

 


Further Reading

The lists below include dozens of books – many from BIPOC authors and creatives – that look at multiple themes connecting to anti-racism work.

An Antiracist Reading List, Ibram X. Kendi

The Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protests to Your Kids, Jessica Grose

This List Of Books, Films And Podcasts About Racism Is A Start, Not A Panacea, Isabella Rosario

Racial Justice Bookshelf

Black Faith Matters
This short film shares the joy, pain and struggles that are faced in the Black Catholic community in the Treme area of New Orleans. Though the experience in New Orleans is unique, filmmakers note, it is relatable to Black Catholics – specifically African American Catholics – throughout America. Learn more about the documentary.

Bishop George V. Murry IFTJ Keynote
The late Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., was a former chair of the US Catholic Bishops’ Committee Against Racism. He gave a keynote at the 2018 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.

The Disease of Racism
Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDden, is a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and former executive director of Pax Christi USA. She gave a keynote on racial justice at the 2017 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.

How the Church Can Combat Racism and White Privilege
Fr. Bryan Massingale, author of “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church” and Professor of Theology at Fordham University, joins America's National Correspondent Michael O'Loughlin for a conversation on racism, white privilege and what the church can do to address these issues moving forward.

The Magis and Justice
Fr. Massingale speaks on “The Magis and Justice” at the 2017 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.

The Other America
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. addresses race, poverty and economic justice in the United States during a 1967 speech at Stanford University.
 

21-Day Racial Equity Challenge
For 21 days, we challenge you to enter into the complex work of understanding the realities of racial injustice and anti-Blackness in the U.S. The Ignatian Racial Equity Challenge is designed for all participants, regardless of race, ethnicity, prior anti-racism work, age or background and will include opportunities to learn, pray, and act on different themes of racial equity.

Acknowledging Systemic Racism and Unpacking Whiteness
Resources from NETWORK, a Catholic leader in the global movement for justice and peace.

BC Libraries
University librarians have put together learning resources and ways you can be engaged in remote anti-racism work given the realities of COVID-19.

Racial Justice Resources
Resources from the Ignatian Spirituality Network, which educates and forms advocates for social justice animated by the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola and the witness of the Jesuit martyrs of El Salvador and their companions.

Recommit to Racial Justice
NETWORK offers a guide of spiritual content to examine white privilege and systemic racism that can be valuable for all people, but particularly white individuals looking to deepen their understanding of how race functions in society.

Know Justice, Know Peace
"Know Justice, Know Peace: A Jesuit Antiracism Retreat" is a series of 12 talks published in video, podcast, and text from The Jesuit Post to continue a process of conversion toward antiracism.

 

Racism is a social and spiritual disease that kills people.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM, Cap., Archbishop of Boston