A Statement From The U.S. Federation of Sisters of St. Joseph

The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph strongly condemns the police-killing of another black man on the streets
of our nation. Our hearts are breaking as we mourn with the family and friends of George Floyd, as well as Breonna
Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, and all the others who have lost loved ones to law enforcement violence. The
continued killing of black people; the constant harassment of people of color; and the denial of the rights and dignity of
our black American neighbors must end now.

Racism is America’s original sin. It is a virus every bit as deadly as COVID-19 that has infected our nation since its
inception and until we address it, people of color will continue to die, and our nation will never heal. Racism, whether
the institutional racism which privileges some at the expense others or the daily acts of microaggressions, hate, and
discrimination diminishes us all.

The resilience and well-being of humanity depends upon us dismantling these systemic, structural, and cultural realities
of white supremacy, endemic to the fabric of our country. We commit ourselves to the creation of the “One Sacred
Community,” where all people are treated as the sacred creation that they are. Racism denies that most profound truth,
that all of us are created in God’s image and each of us is entitled to dignity and respect.

As women religious and their partners in mission, we acknowledge our own complicity in institutional racism. We pray
for our nation’s healing, yet we know that is not enough. We ask forgiveness of people of color – without expecting or
requiring it – to move into action. It is time for bold, decisive action – it is long past time to dismantle white privilege and
rededicate ourselves to building God’s beloved community.

As a Federation, we vow to turn our words into precise actions addressing the institutional racism that lives within our
institutions and within ourselves. We vow to support criminal justice reforms, including a call for independent bodies
that conduct investigations of police misconduct and broad, sweeping reforms to policing, incarceration, and the judicial
system. As part of the reconciliation for the death of George Floyd, we urge Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman,
to pledge a just and timely adjudication of this tragedy.

We call on the people of the United States to work with greater urgency to eliminate the systemic racism that infects the
very soul of our nation. For the U.S. Federation, that requires us looking at all of our institutions and introducing
guidelines to ensure that we are working to a more just society. This includes an honest look at the hiring and promotion
practices at all levels, including the Federation, congregations, our schools, hospitals, and ministries.

As we continue to work to dismantle institutional racism, we are all asked to do the deep, ongoing inner work that antiracism requires of us. This  includes listening to, learning from, supporting, and elevating the black voices from within our sisters, partners in mission, and more broadly. We ask God’s blessing on the struggle that lies ahead. We, as a Federation and as individuals, must do better.

Please see this list of anti-racism action items each person can take: AntiRacism_Action_Items.pdf

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