We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless efforts and persistent work of men willing to be coworkers with God.”
~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This week, as a nation, we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Dominican Sisters commemorated this day by spending time in prayer and contemplative study. We revisited our congregation Statement Against Racism (1999) which includes:

“We see first the common ground of our humanity, and allow our differences only to enrich, and not to disparage. In all of our undertakings, we will notice first and foremost the human person before us.”

The Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids recognize MLK Day as a work holiday and encouraged our employees to make time for learning about inclusion, one of our organization’s core values.

As we contemplate how one person can use her/his voice and agency to make a difference in our world, let’s revisit a contribution from our Campus Inclusion Team.

Why Black Lives Matter

Two years ago, Sr. Joyce Ann Hertzig, OP offered this perspective about why Black lives matter. It’s worth repeating.

• Because “All men” didn’t include Black men when our founders stated, “All men are created equal”. Our Constitution counted enslaved persons as 3/5 a person until the Civil War.

• Because “All” didn’t include Black Americans when saying, “Liberty and justice for all.” The 13th amendment abolished slavery, but Jim Crow laws created loopholes for states to legalize racial segregation to deny Black Americans rights for another 100 yrs.

• Because today communities across our nation struggle defining, “All”. The struggle for racial justice is present within housing, healthcare, education, employment, and even voting. As the clock turns on another year, we pray that inclusion, not divisiveness, will turn our faces toward each other rather than away.

Sr. Joyce Ann’s message reminds us why the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids identifies INCLUSION as one of our organization’s core values.

What can you do in this time and place in our world to see the human before you?