Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism Mandate
“Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father.” (Brothers and Sisters to Us, 1979). Racism lives in a particular and pernicious way in the United States, in part because of the complex history of slavery in the country, and the beliefs and policies that sustained it. African Americans have suffered intensely from those who have committed, and continue to commit, the sin of racism. But racism has also ravaged the lives and livelihoods of many other groups of people, and its targets and destructive manifestations are ever-evolving.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism seeks to teach about and to witness to the intrinsic dignity of the human person as an antidote to the grave sin of racism. The Committee explores and implements concrete solutions to address the racism that still pervades our society and our Church today, and works in collaborative ways to strengthen the response of all people to this evil.
This mandate includes the following areas of responsibility:
- Listening sessions, dialogues, and convenings concerning racism within and outside of the Church, including its roots and impacts (spiritual and civil, individual and structural), as well as the voices of people suffering because of it;
- Creation and dissemination of theological, liturgical, pastoral, and community resources;
- Education and catechesis, including work with dioceses and parishes, about racism and effective models to respond to it;
- Implementation of the USCCB’s pastoral statements on racism;
- Communications strategies that promote effective responses to racism;
- Focused evangelization with an aim toward understanding racism and the need for healing and reconciliation;
- Efforts toward conversion of those who harbor racist beliefs and commit racist actions, and care for those who are the victims of racism;
- Outreach and coordinated activity, including interfaith and ecumenical work, to combat racism;
- Support and encouragement for financial and other investments in efforts, programs, and strategies to address racism;
- Public policy advocacy focused on issues that perpetuate or are a result of racism.