The seeds for Brothers and Sisters All were planted in 1991-1992, when participants to Pax Christi USA’s national membership survey suggested that the organizations focus more intensely on racial justice. As a result, the national council added racial justice to Pax Christi USA’s priorities, and began seeking ways to implement this racial justice commitment. In August 1999, Pax Christi USA leaders participated in the organization’s first national workshop on racism in Erie, PA. National council members, regional leaders, staff members and guests attended this workshop. The guests were people of color who were committed to working with the leadership of Pax Christi USA in discerning the place of anti-racism work in the national movement. Facilitating the workshop were three members of Crossroads Ministry, a Chicago-based interfaith organization specializing in anti-racism training for religious and nonprofit groups. In November 1999, the Pax Christi USA national council discussed the results of the August workshop and took the first steps toward creating a 20-30 person national anti-racism team. This team would ultimately produce and implement a multi-year, anti-racism plan for Pax Christi USA. Brothers and Sisters All was born.
Pax Christi USA is more than just a movement; it is an institution with an organizational structure, history, resources, a mission, rules and authority. As an institution, Pax Christi USA was crated to endure over time, to resist change, and to preserve tradition. Every dominant U.S. social system—education, health care, business, religion, government—was created to serve exclusively whites (and, for most of U.S. history, males). Pax Christi USA operates within this social context of institutional racism. Despite its best intentions, Pax Christi USA will continue to support white supremacy until it undergoes a radical anti-racist transformation.