Dear Fellow STA Parishioners,
A year ago, the STA Parish Council assigned the Race and Culture Committee the task of increasing racial awareness within the parish. In the first part of the year, members of the committee worked to implement Part 1, Racial Awareness and Appreciation. Activities that supported this theme included three Diversity Dinners; monthly recitation of our Prayer for Racial Healing during Mass; the weekly Race Matters column in the bulletin and newsletter; a presentation of the STA history of racial equality work; an STA Survey that measured parishioner Intercultural Development (done October 2019 – summary attached); hosting of Dr. Agustin Fuentes, an anthropologist who visited the parish from the University of Notre Dame to present on the topic of race; and a group study of the book “So You Want To Talk About Race?”, by Ijeoma Oluo.
Recently, after the killing of George Floyd, our committee led a Virtual Prayer Service for the parish to help heavy hearts, and two “Chalk the Walk” events so that families could express their sorrow. A virtual meeting of parish and school families of color was held to discuss concerns. Two committee members, Tim Nation and Pearlette Springer recently facilitated a virtual Anti-Racism Workshop for the parish.
In June, the Parish Council asked the Race and Culture Committee to continue its work. The committee has begun Part 2 of the parish plan, Action and Reconciliation. We will continue with our parish Prayer for Racial Healing and our weekly Race Matters bulletin information. In September, the committee hopes to share the STA Racial Pledge with the entire parish. It is a document designed to suggest prayerful ways to make a private commitment to the work of racial injustice, and steps to take to be anti-racist. Future activities may include a parish-wide 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge, the implementation of a school Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Team, more involvement with the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association on its work toward racial justice, additional virtual training, and a follow up of the STA Intercultural Development Survey. The committee hopes to offer more Diversity Dinners and a Prayer Service for Racial Reconciliation when conditions are safe to do so.
As members of the committee, we appreciate the confidence that the Parish Council has shown us, and the enthusiasm of parishioners as they have embraced various activities. In an effort to keep communication flowing, please send thoughts and ideas to this email (email@example.com). We look forward to the coming year, as we continue to grow and develop together in prayer, study, reflection and implementation of actions in the work of making a more just and equitable society.
Marcha Bennett Margaret Bennett Alan Bercovitz
Judith Cebula Crystal Haslett Matt Hayes
Karla Hudecek Shanna Martin Tim Nation Patrice Payne
Jose Samperio Joseph Smith Pearlette Springer
Jim Trippi Eileen Walthall Susan Williams