July 21, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – The General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters issued the following statement in solidarity with the people of Detroit.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters join with our brothers and sisters in Detroit in “looking back to move forward” on this 50th anniversary of the four-day uprising that began on July 23, 1967. We recognize that much remains to be done to end the institutional racism that gave rise to the rebellion 50 years ago that tragically left 43 dead and 342 injured – and that continues to do violence to people of color in Detroit and other parts of our nation today.
As Catholic Sisters of predominantly white Euro-American heritage, we acknowledge our own complicity in the sin of institutional racism, which privileges some and dehumanizes others. We pledge our lives and resources – through our literacy centers and individual ministries in social and environmental justice, non-violent peacemaking, education, and local parishes – to do all we can to help build the “beloved community” that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of and Jesus modeled.
Thank you, Sisters, for this statement that helps me think through this seminal event in my life. I was in between first and second grade at Our Lady Gate of Heaven School in the summer of 1967, frightened by the billowing clouds of smoke to the east of us and the National Guard patrolling our streets. Adrian Dominican sisters taught me then (a shout-out and thank you to Sr. Marie Rose Bauer, OP, whom I had for both first and second grades!) and Adrian Dominican sisters continue to teach me today, by word and deed. Thank you!
Thank you. Every step forward is welcome.
I was missioned in Grosse Pte. Farms at that time and was on retreat in Adrian that summer and remember we were not allowed to return to the city. Wow...I also remember going to some meeting where Dr. King spoke and recall the careful watch of bodyguards. I can remember where I sat in the hall or wherever we were...what a time in history...
Thank you, Pat and Council, for these words of remembrance of the 1967 rebellion in Detroit which, at the same time, acknowledge the continuing effects of institutional racism. As a public statement it can be an inspiration for many and helps us recognize white privilege and complicity as we act to bring about inclusive community...beloved community.
I stand behind these words of our Council and know they will kead to continued action!