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The core mission of the Office is to address the sin of racism by providing parishes and schools with the tools to initiate and enhance their efforts to combat racism. Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., established the Office for Racial Justice July 1, 2000. The Office is a direct outgrowth from the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Task Force on Racism as a response to the beating of Lenard Clark in 1997.


The Archdiocese of Chicago will

  • Acknowledge that racism is a sin that has created a racist society in which the dominant culture benefits.

  • Encourage Catholic to search their own hearts on the questions of how the sin of racism has touched them.

  • Guide parishes to proclaim the gospel message that stresses our unity, and design pastoral responses that will help combat the sin of racism.

  • Create educational opportunities in schools and parishes that will uncover the truth about racism in America and in our local communities while providing the means to bring about healing.

  • Stimulate church involvement in community initiatives addressing issues of racial justice.

Initiatives are driven by three principles:

  • A call to change attitudes and behaviors that will lead to a conversion of heart and reconciliation among peoples of every ethnic and cultural background.

  • A commitment to take concrete, visible steps to dismantle personal and systemic racism.

  • To witness through our lives and actions the unconditional love of God for all human beings regardless of their racial, religious, or national origin.

    This recommendation is made the understanding that the archdiocese must combat racism in a manner consistent with the mission of the local church. Accordingly, we see that this commitment connects integrally with the Archdiocese's evangelization efforts in the new millennium.





  • Cardinal George issues his pastoral letter DWELL IN MY LOVE: A Pastoral Letter on Racism Office for Racial Justice's establishes the Saint Katharine Drexel Racial Justice Award to be given to those individuals and groups in recognition of their efforts to combat racism and to build the "beloved community."

  • Cardinal George appoints two Anti-Racism Implementation Teams (a Catholic Schools and a Pastoral Center team) to address the complex issue of institutional racism in our structures and service institutions and to eliminate all forms of institutional racism in our church and society.

  • Cardinal George and the Administrative Council approves the Dwell in My Love Anti-Racism 20-year Strategic Plan to identify and redress unjust societal systems and structures that continue to support institutional racism where it exists in the departments and agencies of the Pastoral Center and in all areas of Catholic Education.