The Sisters of Mercy understand racism as a systemic issue, not simply an issue of individual attitudes and actions.
Prejudice is the attitude of an individual who judges another person primarily on the basis of skin color, ethnic origin, or religion. Discrimination is making decisions about housing, jobs, access to education, or other goods of society based on someone’s skin color, race, or other attributes.
Racism, however, is an evil deeply embedded in our society, our Church, and our institutions and is much more than prejudice or discrimination. Racism is part of the very fabric of our daily lives and often is unrecognized by those who are part of the dominant culture. That lack of acknowledgement can be attributed to many factors such as socialization, media, life experiences, and cultural competency.
The Sisters of Mercy take inspiration from the lives of Jesus and Catherine McAuley whose ministries were about freeing those oppressed by unjust structures. Many groups within the Institute have worked to dismantle racism. Nonetheless, the Sisters of Mercy still continue to proceed in a systematic way to approach a deeper level of engagement that involves us in the transformation of our own structural systems. Our Direction Statement says that we commit our lives and resources to act in solidarity with those who are oppressed. The depth of our commitment to dismantling racism within our systems is connected to our identity as Sisters of Mercy.
For more information, please visit the Southern Poverty Law Center and We Can Stop the Hate.