Catholic Charities Supports Black Lives Matter
Catholic Charities’ vision and mission are based on scripture, which teaches that we are all brothers and sisters, equal children of the one God. From this foundation of beliefs, we are committed to the principles of diversity and serve as advocates for social justice. Our core values and code of ethics prohibit racism, discrimination and bigotry in our work and workplace. We condemn racism, and we are united in solidarity with our Black employees and clients because Black Lives Matter.
As an organization, we are committed to:
- Cherishing the racial and cultural diversity of our staff and those we serve.
- Doing all we can every day to make sure that every person who comes to us for service — no matter what their color or ethnic background — enjoys the God-given gift of life itself.
- Continuing the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) conversation as an organization — first, to reflect on our beliefs and actions as individuals while listening to and respecting others and, second, to further strategize what organizational change is needed and then to sustain that change.
- Reviewing and, when necessary, updating our policies and practices.
- Recruiting and retaining a diverse staff and volunteers and offering opportunities for advancement.
- Training all staff members and volunteers to recognize unconscious bias.
- Offering a safe space for honest conversations about race and racism within our workplace.
What We Have Learned
After events in our community and across the country highlighted that injustice, discrimination and distrust continue to exist, Catholic Charities began a journey to advance its efforts related to DEI. In this process, we have learned that:
- DEI is central to our vision, with our mission and service offerings emphasizing care, community and the value of every person.
- Discussing sensitive subjects like white privilege, racial inequalities and marginalized groups while providing candid feedback can be difficult. But we are committed to speak to and give witness with our lives to overcoming discrimination and inequality in our community.
What We Have Done
As a result of our journey so far, we have:
- Created a goal within the agency’s strategic plan of continuing to improve our commitment to DEI.
- Formed a committee representing our staff to accomplish this goal over a four-year period.
- Educated the staff on DEI issues.
- Partnered with a consultant to evaluate the agency’s current state of DEI and create a strategic plan for how we can continue to attract and engage a diverse workforce, build an inclusive workplace and serve our clients.
- Established a monthly Black Lives Matter Lunch & Learn series for staff to delve into DEI topics.
- Expanded Black History Month tributes by publishing appreciations to Black historical figures and entrepreneurs throughout the year.
Where We are Going
As we work to remain true to our commitment, our plans include:
- Providing educational opportunities to allow employees and volunteers to assess their own biases and strengthen allyship across the agency.
- Ensuring the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) are included as we develop communications, agency policies and programs.
- Developing community partnerships through active participation in groups that support the advancement, equity and inclusion of BIPOC.
- Expanding recruiting opportunities with Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Washington metro area.
Resources on DEI
- Standing with Each Other: Thoughts from CEO Msgr. John Enzler
- To Do Our Work Serving Others, We Must Acknowledge and Fight Against Racism: Juneteenth statement from Catholic Charities
- Statement on Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial from Catholic Charities
- Made in God’s Image: Pray and Work to End the Sin of Racism: An initiative by Cardinal Wilton Gregory and the Archdiocese of Washington
- The Journey to Racial Justice: Pastoral letter on racism by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore