EmbRace Justice

Our mission statementThe St. Elizabeth EmbRace Justice Ministry feels called to open our ears, hearts, and minds to walk humbly with our brothers and sisters of color in living out our baptismal commitment as disciples of Jesus Christ. Our mission is to address racism through education, self-awareness, understanding, solidarity, and advocacy for racial justice.

We periodically organize other events and opportunities for involvement. We will post these in the bulletin and notify our group by e-mail. If interested in participating in the EmbRace Justice Ministry, or if you have ideas to share as to how we as a Parish can become more involved in addressing racial justice issues, please ask to be added to our e-mail group by emailing Dcn. Mike McLean.

What's Happening in Our Ministry?

February is Black History Month

EmbRace Justice recommends . . .

In honor of Black History Month, EmbRace Justice ministry recommends 3 books to gain better understanding of Black history and the Civil Rights movement: Binding Us Together by Alvin Brooks, Across That Bridge by the late Congressman John Lewis, and A White Catholic’s Guide to Racism and Privilege by Daniel P. Horan, O.F.M.

Each book looks at the Black experience from a slightly different aspect, but all are written with the great spirituality inherent in these authors. Kansas City legend Alvin Brooks’ book gives a wonderful history of the Black experience in KC from the 1950’s on.  It’s very readable, almost like having a conversation with him.  John Lewis’ book looks at the national civil rights movement from a very spiritual and hopeful perspective.  Fr. Horan’s book is a little more in-your-face and a tougher read from the aspect of white Catholics’ responsibility.

A limited number of each book will be available for free on the tables in the 75th St. narthex after each Saturday/Sunday mass in February. Please stop by, take a look and pick one up.  All we ask is that when you are finished to pass it along or return it to the tables so another person may enjoy it.

This month we also plan to share information on several Black Non-Catholic theologians who have influenced religious thought over the last 100 years. 

Howard Washington Thurman (November 18, 1899 – April 10, 1981) was an American author, philosopher, theologian, mystic, educator, and civil-rights leader. As a prominent religious figure, he played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century.  Thurman's theology of radical nonviolence influenced and shaped a generation of civil rights activists.  He was a key mentor to leaders within the civil rights movement including Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thurman was a prolific author, writing twenty books on theology, religion, and philosophy. The most famous of his works, Jesus and the Disinherited (1949), profoundly influenced Martin Luther King, Jr and other black and white leaders of the modern Civil Rights Movement. Learn more about Howard Washington Thurman.

Dr. Charles Richard Drew (1904 – 1950) broke barriers in a racially divided America to become one of the most important scientists of the 20th century. His pioneering research and systematic developments in the use and preservation of blood plasma during World War II not only saved thousands of lives but innovated the nation’s blood banking process and standardized procedures for long-term blood preservation and storage techniques adapted by the American Red Cross.

A native Washingtonian, Drew was an average student but gifted athlete recruited in 1922 on a football and track and field scholarship by Amherst College in Massachusetts. He was one of only 13 African Americans in a student body of 600, where the racial climate exposed him to hostility from opposing teams. Learn more about Dr. Charles Richard Drew.

John Lewis – Activist, Politician, Ordained Minister Reverend John Lewis is best known for serving in the US House of Representatives from 1987 to 2020 representing the 5th district in Georgia.  Most of us may not have learned that he was also an ordained Baptist minister with degrees in religion and philosophy from Fisk University. He began preaching at age 5 when he would preach to the chickens on his farm.  Those chickens must have worked hard, as later in life, he was a powerful and engaging speaker. He dedicated his life to making “good trouble” by working tirelessly for equality and nonviolent social change.

Lewis exemplifies how we should work to effect change in the world, not by bullying, belittling or insulting, but by speaking the truth respectfully and lovingly. Learn more about John Lewis.

"Hidden Figures": Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn-The 2016 book and movie, “Hidden Figures,” is the story of 3 mathematicians who worked for NASA in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. Starting their careers as “human computers” in the days before digital computers were used, they calculated flight paths, launch windows, did trajectory analyses and many other specifics of orbital mechanics, all by hand.  

Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn were assigned to the segregated "West Area Computing" unit, an all-black group of female mathematicians, who were originally required to use separate dining and bathroom facilities. Over time, both individually and as a group, the “West Computers” distinguished themselves with contributions to virtually every area of research at Langley Research Center. Learn more about these amazing women and their contributions.


2023 Black-Owned Businesses Booklet