The Road to Social EquityExamining Our Culture and Conscience
Join this parish initiative!
The Road to Social Equity Initiative examines our parish life and culture, identifies any blind spots when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and lays the groundwork for a strategic plan that will further our vision of being a parish where “no one is lost or forgotten” (Parish Vision 2022, ¶ 12).
Read more about how this initiative came to be below! Got questions?
About this Survey
This online survey will cover everything from who we are as a parish, to how inclusive is our community, to what YOU think the parish should prioritize in the year ahead. The survey will be open until June 27, and our goal is 100% participation! Our strategic plan will be stronger and more tailored to our needs if we hear from all of you. So, make your voice heard!
Filling out the survey is voluntary, and your responses are anonymous. You will not be asked your name, street address, or any other information that can identify you, and the data gained will be used for no other purpose than within our parish. This survey will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. At the end, there is information on how you can enter a drawing to have coffee with Fr. John. Your input is valuable, and we thank you for your time. If you have any questions about this effort, please contact Leah Bennet from Saint Cecilia Parish at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 857-317-3826.
A Brief History/Context
A Brief History
In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing national reckoning with our countries systemic racism, parish leadership began to discern how we as a church could respond both to the immediate needs of our parishioners and to the broader need to reconcile our individual and collective complicity in some of these racist institutions. The Racial Equity Team (RET), made up of parishioners, ministry leaders, parish council members, and staff, was born to explore these questions and the parish’s next actions. In these early discussions, the RET realized how much we didn’t know about our own community. How racially or ethnically diverse are we? Does Saint Cecilia feel like a spiritual home to everyone, or are there. barriers to belonging? Does everyone feel the responsibility and possibility of shaping their own parish community? What would it mean to be a truly anti-racist parish?
To best carry out this exploration, Saint Cecilia has partnered with the nonprofit organization Health Resources in Action (HRiA), to conduct a racial equity assessment and plan. The heart of this assessment involves gathering staff, parishioner, and community input through focus groups, individual interviews, and a survey. Key findings from the assessment will inform a strategic plan that outlines how Saint Cecilia can make positive changes with the goal of becoming a parish where all feel welcome.
Initial focus groups were conducted in May to gather some feedback to help shape the key themes in the survey with the following groups:
- People who attend Mass, but are otherwise not engaged in parish life
- Black, Indigenous, and parishioners of color
- LGBTQ+ Parishioiners and Members of the Rainbow Ministry
As a result of this input, the survey is open to all parishioners, staff, and community members on June 11. From there the team may organize a few follow up focus groups or interviews. All the data gathered will help inform the strategic plan to be implimented beginning in the fall.