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Resources on Race and Antiracism for Mercy School Communities

In our June 2 Response to Recent Acts of Racism and Violence, Mercy Education System of the Americas (MESA) committed “to find ways to have courageous conversations that inspire graced actions to preserve the dignity of and respect for each human being.”

As part of this commitment and in response to requests from our school administrators, the MESA Staff in conjunction with colleagues throughout the Mercy world have shared the following resources* that may be used for one’s own personal edification on race and antiracism as well as classroom resources to help students grow in their understanding of our Mercy Critical Concern for antiracism.

Updated March 8, 2021! New additions are highlighted.


A student at Mercy Career and Technical High School participates in a virtual protest.

Anti-Defamation League:

Teaching about Racism, Violence, Inequity and the Criminal Justice System

Includes lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school.

Black Catholics Syllabus

Link to syllabus

This syllabus is a collection of resources related to Black Catholics in the United States curated by Dr. Tia Noelle Pratt. This syllabus prioritizes the work of Blacks in order to center the voice of Black Catholics in the creation of their own narrative.

Catholic Resources for Racial Justice

Link to resource in Google Docs

This resource was assembled by Michael Bayer, a lay Catholic minister who holds degrees in theology from Georgetown University and the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. This resource owes a great deal to the input of scholars, theologians, historians, and pastoral ministers around the United States.

CNN

Black women’s roles in the civil rights movement have been understated — but that’s changing

In 1955, Claudette Colvin, age 15, was the first to refuse to give up her seat to a white person on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus – 10 months before Rosa Parks’ famous act of defiance.

Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism

CNN and Sesame Street team up for a town hall for kids and families. One segment focuses on how to explain racism to kids.

EmbraceRace.org:

31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance

Film: “Just Mercy” and study guide

Based on a true story, this 2019 film chronicles a civil rights defense attorney aiding a man on death row. Warner Brothers announced that “Just Mercy” will be free to rent on AppleTV, Fandango Now, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu and YouTube throughout the month of June 2020. After you see the film, check out the accompanying Catholic study guide.

Global Sisters Report In the Classroom:

Lessons in Race Relations

Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley:

Anti-Racist Resources from Greater Good

This link Includes categories for educators and parents.

Ignatian Solidarity Network

An Examen for White Allies

Ignatian Solidarity Podcast featuring Olga Segura, Mercy school graduate

Olga Segura is a graduate of St. Catharine Academy in Bronx, New York. In this podcast, she talks about Black Lives Matter and the Catholic Church.

Mercy Education

Black Catholic History Month Resources for Mercy Schools

Black HERstory: Making Voices Heard download the video (MP4 file) here

From the Black Student Union of Merion Mercy Academy (Merion Station, Pennsylvania), “Black HERstory: Making Voices Heard” is a student-produced celebration of music, dance, art, poetry, rap and historical profiles of Black women.

Critical Concerns Bingo

For those seeking new ways to engage students on the Mercy Critical Concerns, we share a new resource: Critical Concerns Bingo cards, a spin on the traditional game of Bingo that offers pathways for engagement with the Critical Concerns through readings, videos, suggested actions and spirituality. Most activities are suitable for in-person and online instruction.

Critical Concerns Summer Reading Lists

The English department at Mercy High School in Burlingame, California, developed a summer reading program that highlights our Mercy Critical Concerns. All files for the summer reading program are available. You an also view them as PDFs: English 1, English 2English 3English 4

Curriculum Guide: Antiracism

Developed by Mercy educators in 2018. Curriculum guides for all Mercy Critical Concerns are available here.

How to Talk about Racism in a Predominantly White School

Sarah Peace, principal of Mercy Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, shares helpful resources to inspire great conversations in the classroom.

Mercy Volunteer Corps:

Critical Concern Challenge for Antiracism

This clickable five-week calendar provides daily opportunities to watch, listen, learn and act and pray. Mercy Volunteer Corps has also shared this blank version of the calendar that can be customized with resources appropriate for younger children – please contact us if you need help setting one up for your classroom.

National Geographic:

Talking to kids about race

National Museum of African American History and Culture:

Talking about Race

Includes a section specifically for educators.

Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut:

Anti-Racism Resources for Students, Educators, and Citizens

Resources are organized by topic and medium, including books, podcasts, movies and shows.

New York Times:

Saint Mary’s Press

Understanding Racism Mini-Course

This mini-course focuses on themes of change, unity and solidarity. By connecting racism to the greater Catholic Social Teaching of Human Dignity, the course helps students understand more about its origins, how it affects others, and how to confront racism and stand in solidarity with people of all walks of life.

Educators can also contact the Saint Mary’s Press Ministry Care Team to request complete access.

Sisters of Mercy:

Smithsonian Magazine:

158 Resources to Understand Racism in America

A chronicle of anti-black violence and inequality in the United States with links to articles, videos, podcasts and websites.

Tolerance.org:

Black Oppression and Resistance

A learning plan with readings for grades 6-8 and 9-12.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:

A Prayer Service for Racial Healing in Our Land

Combatting Racism – Educational Resources

Includes resources for K-12 classrooms, school activities and resources for reflection.

Vox.com:

11 movies that confront American racism


*As several of these resources come from secular sources, we request that administrators and educators review carefully before sharing within your school community.


Don’t forget to visit the resources section of our website for more inspiration.

What other types of resource would be helpful to you?

Do you have resources that you think would be helpful to share with the MESA community?

Please contact us at mesa@sistersofmercy.org.

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