Ramblers Analyzing Whiteness
"Each of us as Catholics must acknowledge a share in the mistakes and sins of the past. Many of us have been prisoners of fear and prejudice. We have preached the Gospel while closing our eyes to the racism it condemns. We have allowed conformity to social pressures to replace compliance with social justice."
--Brothers and Sisters to Us, U.S. Catholic Bishops, 1979.
The purpose of R.A.W. is to create an affinity space on campus for self-identified White students who want to become anti-racist, anti-supremacist White allies. R.A.W. is a program for students who want to work to understand, identify, and address racism in schools, in society, and at Loyola University Chicago. According to Fr. Fred Kammer, S.J., who has written about Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and Racism,“we must unmask social evil, and, like prophets, denounce injustice. We must eradicate overt and covert racism. This requires solidarity with those suffering from disadvantages woven into society and our self perceptions. For John Paul II, this solidarity is ‘not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people...On the contrary it is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good.’”
Keeping Fr. Fred Kammer, S.J.'s words in mind, R.A.W. participants engage in dialogue about the history of race in the U.S. and contemporary race-related events as it relates to their own experiences with race and racial identity development. Students in the program learn how to be allies in the struggle for racial justice as described by the Catholic Social Teaching framework, which closely connects with Loyola’s Jesuit Catholic mission.
Through a series of seven workshops, students delve into conversation, activities, and reflection on various topics, such as the history of race and anti-racism efforts in the U.S., the role of Catholic Social Teaching and the Jesuit value of social justice in addressing racism and White-supremacy, and how to become effective anti-racist, anti-supremacist allies. Aimed to further awareness, knowledge, and skills, R.A.W. invites White students to begin the journey of operating in solidarity with others in an effort to work towards racial justice.