Left to Right: Patricia Wen, Akilah Johnson, and Liz Kowalczyk of the Boston Globe
Boston’s legacy of racial injustice is something that the community as a whole struggles to address adequately. In addition to incidents of individual racism, the region continues to see inequities in education, home ownership, wealth, and civic and business leadership between black and white residents. A Faith That Does Justice (AFTDJ) is seeking to be a part of the conversation on these issues by convening three members of The Boston Globe’s Spotlight team to discuss their findings on racism in Boston and the surrounding area at the organization’s next Community Meeting. The meeting is entitled “Racism: An Ongoing Dilemma” and will highlight what these members of the Spotlight team learned by being a part of the Globe’s December 2017 seven-part series about racism in the region.
Those interested in attending AFTDJ’s meeting on March 13th can do so by registering at the organization’s website. The event will be held at The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul at 138 Tremont Street, across from Park Street T Station in Boston, from 6:15 to 8:15 pm.
AFTDJ is working to move people to action in confronting injustices in the United States. The goal is to create solidarity among people who very often have little contact in contemporary society – those with wealth, education, and privilege and those who are living in poverty and in threatened vulnerable communities. This Community Meeting will help educate participants in the challenges facing those afflicted by racial injustice and ways they can work to improve it.
AFTDJ was initially formed as a program in San Diego, where Fr. Peter W. Gyves, SJ MD, brought together English-speaking and Spanish-speaking communities to share experiences and concerns about the direction the country was going in. The program moved to Boston last year and its mission has expanded. In addition to holding similar workshops, which brings together vulnerable populations and long-time Boston residents together, the organization is hosting a series of Community Meetings around topics that impact vulnerable populations, such as housing and homelessness.
In a recent op-ed for the National Catholic Reporter, AFTDJ’s Fr. Gyves, wrote, “It is more important now more than ever to resist Trump and his intolerance of people who do not look like or think as he does.”
The Globe’s Spotlight series was developed in response to Boston’s stereotype as one of the most racist cities in the country. To gather insight into the issues facing the African American community in Boston, the Spotlight team launched surveys and conducted interviews to gain insight on the topic. The team thoroughly researched niches such as the Seaport, hospitals, colleges, and sports in the series.
Patricia Wen, the editor of the Spotlight series, and reporters Akilah Johnson and Liz Kowalczyk will discuss at the event why the Globe undertook the series and what they learned about racism, Boston, and ways the city can improve racial relations. The event will be moderated by Rev. Dr. Gregory Groover, Sr, of the Historic Charles St. A.M.E. Church in Roxbury. The evening’s discussion will also include remarks from AFTDJ founder and director, Fr. Gyves.