Racial Justice

As the STM enters its 13th year, we are called as a community to examine, renew, and advance our commitment to formation for learned ministry in light of the Gospel, the Jesuit tradition, and the mission of the STM. At this moment, we must affirm that Black lives matter and address the sin of racism, both personal and structural.

If we are to be true heralds of the Gospel, building up the Body of Christ by witnessing to love and restorative justice, then we must cherish and respect the dignity of all bodies. Racism permeates our social, ecclesial, and academic institutions.  For people of faith, called to conversion and new life in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, every day is an invitation to repentance and transformation. Repenting of racism requires a commitment to antiracism.

As theologians and ministers, we must name the root causes of racism, grow in our awareness of the ways in which it has affected Christian history, theology, and ministerial practice, fostered white privilege, and harmed people of color. A particular challenge for white students, faculty, and staff is to consider how we benefit from white privilege. This privilege not only distorts our perceptions, but it also influences our established norms and practices.

As we read the signs of the times, our schoolwide formation must include an unlearning of racist attitudes, learning new ways of thinking and acting, and relearning how we are to be ambassadors of peace and reconciliation.

This fall, nine STM faculty and staff members will participate in one of The People's Insitute for Survival and Beyond's "Undoing Racism" workshops.

Racial Justice Blog Posts

STM's community blog, Encounter, has featured a number of posts on topics related to racial justice written by STM students, staff, and alumni.

Past Presentations

The Spirituals: An African American Music Idiom and Its Relevance to Our Lives Today

Meyer Chambers, campus minister for liturgical arts, Boston College, and Rev. Oscar Pratt, pastor, St. Katharine Drexel Parish, Dorchester, MA

Whether sung liturgically, privately, or performed in concert, the Spirituals are a truly unique American music genre, steeped and founded in the Black Church experience with longevity and relevance for our lives today.

The Fiercy Urgency of Now

M. Shawn Copeland, professor emerita, Boston College Theology Department

Over the 13 years of his public social ministry, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called our nation to self-reflection and action with regard to three urgent problems—racism, poverty, and war, which remain as urgent today as they did 50 years ago.  This address explores King’s exercise of the prophetic and those problems from the vantage of political theology.

Do Black Lives Matter to God?

Amey Victoria Adkins-Jones, assistant professor of theology and African Diaspora studies, Boston College Theology Department

Responses to Covid-19 have only highlighted and exacerbated the racial and socioeconomic divides in this country, and as the contemporary civil rights movement pushes for reform and abolition, declaring yet again that Black lives matter -- where is God? Where is the (c)hurch? Together we reflect on both the questions and theological resources for pursuing community and racial justice.

Exhibit: Black Catholic "Rising Saints"

Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman​

Venerable Henriette Delille

Venerable Pierre Toussaint

Servant of God Mother Mary Lange

Venerable Fr. Augustus Tolton

Servant of God Julia Greeley​