by Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN
Executive Director, Pax Christi USA
As we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the modern Civil Rights era, Pax Christi USA, (PCUSA), the national Catholic peace and justice movement, continues its commitment to confront the evil of racism and all forms of oppression, as we witness to the Gospel call of nonviolence and peace with justice.
Traditionally, Pax Christi USA didn’t reach out to communities of color. It was not until people of color joined the national council that an intentional anti-racism initiative began to take shape. This ongoing commitment began in a process in 1999 when Pax Christi USA, with its majority membership of white Catholics, embarked on a 20-year initiative by: 1) creating a document “Brothers and Sisters All” and 2) creating the Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team, PCART, as an integral section of PCUSA. By striving to create a world that reflects the peace of Christ, intentionally becoming an anti-racist, multi-cultural, Catholic, non-violent, peace and justice movement, PCUSA strives to become part of “the Beloved Community,” envisioned by Martin Luther King Jr.
PCUSA is committed to this work of making strong, honest, caring relationships – both personal and institutional – across racial lines, in order that together, with the whole body of Christ, we can transform structures and cultures of violence and domination. We are further committed to and have made progress in transforming our own organizational structures, policies, practices, and forms of decision-making to include the participation of people of color. To assist the PCUSA members in this effort, the trained Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team educates the Pax Christi membership on embracing an anti-racist perspective in working on its initiatives…