Members of the NDP Community Participate in Racial Justice Challenge


Seal, Anna

Racial Equity Challenge Wednesday Night Discussion Group

Anna Seal, Staff Writer

This Lent, approximately 100 members of the Notre Dame Preparatory School community signed up to participate in the 21-Day Ignatian Racial Equity Challenge. This challenge, sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network leads participants through a journey of prayer, education, and action to combat racism and anti-Blackness in daily life.

Students and faculty alike received an email each day with resources to learn, a prayer, and an action item. Each week, there were discussion Zooms for participants to grow closer together, process the information, and create action steps towards becoming anti-racists. This challenge tackled many topics, from mass incarceration and healthcare inequality to the Catholic Church’s role in racist actions. This comprehensive overview of racial injustice in the United States helped many participants understand realities that their privilege has shielded them from, and has created a space to deepen knowledge and gain courage along with insight.

Many found this as an engaging opportunity, especially during a time of religious waiting and reflection, to empower one another in the fight against white supremacy and racism. In regards to her experience, Junior Tayler Leonard shares, “I absolutely loved the challenge, because well, it really was a challenge! There were so many uncomfortable yet vital lessons, information, and conversations that arose from this experience; and that is something I could not be more grateful for. Not to mention, I got to see so many of my friends, peers, and even teachers actively want to learn and work towards truly becoming anti-racist and inclusive — something I don’t see very often.” Tayler also took on the role of leading one of the weekly discussion groups on Wednesday nights.

In a time of polarity, divisiveness, and hate, members of the NDP community have come together to embrace Gospel values and emulate the quote emblazoned on the Dining Room wall: “Act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with your God.” Senior Emily Thomas exclaims, “The Ignatian challenge was such an eye-opening experience! Throughout the challenge, I was able to learn so many new things and hear so many different perspectives! Above all, I learned how to recognize the suffering Jesus in those that have been oppressed, and listen rather than automatically dismiss people because of their views. Although I was only able to attend one discussion, it was really fruitful and inspired me to dig deeper into upholding the dignity of each person by combatting racism.”

The institutions of racism and white supremacy will not disappear overnight and it is the perseverance, continued education, and commitment to difficult conversations that will carry students and teachers alike to the goal of genuinely becoming anti-racist and attempting to overcome anti-Blackness.

If you did not have the chance to participate in the challenge this Lent, the challenge is available for every individual free of charge on the Ignatian Solidarity Network website.