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.
Includes lesson plans for elementary, middle and high school.
Black Catholics 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
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.
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.
CNN and Sesame Street team up for a town hall for kids and families. One segment focuses on how to explain racism to kids.
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:
Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley:
This link Includes categories for educators and parents.
Ignatian Solidarity Network
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.
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.
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.
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 2, English 3, English 4
Developed by Mercy educators in 2018. Curriculum guides for all Mercy Critical Concerns are available here.
Sarah Peace, principal of Mercy Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, shares helpful resources to inspire great conversations in the classroom.
Mercy Volunteer Corps:
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 Museum of African American History and Culture:
Includes a section specifically for educators.
Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut:
Resources are organized by topic and medium, including books, podcasts, movies and shows.
New York Times:
- Resources for Teaching About Race and Racism: A curated collection of over 75 lesson plans, writing prompts, short films and graphs relating to racism and racial justice.
- Talking to Kids about Racism
- An Antiracist Reading List
Saint Mary’s Press
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.
- Scope and sequence
- View a sample lesson from “Understanding Racism” by logging in here.
Educators can also contact the Saint Mary’s Press Ministry Care Team to request complete access.
Sisters of Mercy:
- What To Do When You Can’t Be on the Frontline – link | digital toolkit (includes PDF and jpeg graphics)
- Perspectives on Black Catholic experience and history from members of the Mercy Community
A chronicle of anti-black violence and inequality in the United States with links to articles, videos, podcasts and websites.
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
Includes resources for K-12 classrooms, school activities and resources for reflection.
*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 email@example.com.