"On March 13, 2018 I announced the formation of a Task Force on race and Catholic Schools. They were asked to listen to people of color; recommend ideas to better understand and serve the needs of racial and ethnic minorities in our Catholic schools; and make recommendations to me about how to best accompany all people in our Catholic school communities toward a closer relationship with God, who desires each one of us to be one with him in heaven.
"Over the summer, the Task Force held listening sessions in Lansing, Ann Arbor, Jackson and Flint. They have continued to meet to discuss several important topics related to race and Catholic education. Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson, director of the Human Relations and Community Services Department for the City of Lansing, and a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, is the chair of the task force. Dr. Jackson Johnson provided an update to my cabinet on Wednesday, October 24.
"The Task Force is pursuing and researching programs that help to educate young people and their families on racial diversity and sensitivity. They are also looking at other model Catholic schools where racial diversity has been successfully integrated into the culture and curriculum of the schools. She shared how powerful the process of listening to the stories of families affected by racial discrimination has been for the Task Force, and suggested additional listening sessions could be helpful in the future. The Task Force anticipates completing its work and submitting a report to me by December, 2018.
"I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Joan Jackson Johnson and all the members of the Task Force for the commitment they have made - and continue to make - to this important process. My thanks also to those who participated in the listening sessions. It takes great courage to step forward and share your story and your experience as a person of color in Catholic schools.
"The task force is a racially and ethnically diverse group comprising appointees from around the diocese. Their role specifically is to listen to constituents of our Catholic schools; recommend ideas to better understand and serve the needs of racial and ethnic minorities in our Catholic schools; and make recommendations to the bishop about how to best accompany all people in our Catholic school communities toward a closer relationship with God, who desires each one of us to be one with him in heaven."
Bishop Earl Boyea