Racial Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Carroll College is proudly a Catholic, diocesan, liberal arts institution of higher education. Drawing on Open Wide Our Hearts (2018), the most recent pastoral letter on racial justice from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we affirm our commitment to the dignity of every human person, to solidarity across human difference, and to justice for the whole human family.
But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and it corrupts the souls of those who harbor racist or prejudicial thoughts. The persistence of the evil of racism is why we are writing this letter now. People are still being harmed, so action is still needed.
Our Catholic tradition insists that every human being is created in the image of God. For that reason, every human person bears a fundamental and inalienable dignity. Racism and racial inequality attack human dignity by allowing arbitrary bias and stereotypes to harm historically marginalized members of our communities while, at the same time, corrupting those who perpetrate and tolerate it.
Carroll College rejects the sin and evil of racism in all its forms. We commit ourselves to honoring the dignity of every person by building a just, equitable, and fully welcoming community of learning.
Racism can often be found in our hearts—in many cases placed there unwillingly or unknowingly by our upbringing and culture. As such, it can lead to thoughts and actions that we do not even see as racist, but nonetheless flow from the same prejudicial root….Racism can also be institutional, when practices or traditions are upheld that treat certain groups of people unjustly. The cumulative effects of personal sins of racism have led to social structures of injustice and violence that makes us all accomplices in racism.
Our nation’s history has seen racism in the form of personal vitriol and bigotry, but it has also seen racism in the form of political, social, economic, and legal systems that harm groups of people across generations—especially BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, including people from other historically harmed minoritized religious and ethnic groups). These histories of harm pass on an ongoing legacy of present-day wounds.
Carroll College acknowledges the reality of systemic, structural racism. Building a just, equitable, and fully welcoming community for all of our students, staff, and faculty entails ongoing vigilance and self-examination that seeks to recognize and counteract the harm of systemic biases, conscious and unconscious. We commit ourselves to that work as hopeful participation in the reconciliation that comes from God.
The evil of racism festers in part because, as a nation, there has been very limited formal acknowledgement of the harm done to so many, no moment of atonement, no national process of reconciliation and, all too often a neglect of our history.
Carroll College acknowledges that the sin and evil of racial injustice is a present reality in our world, that it has profoundly shaped our context, and that too often, it has shaped our own institution. We commit ourselves to the hard work of transformation, which means faithfully examining our history and our current practices. We commit ourselves to holding ourselves accountable to the highest standards of justice and equity.