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Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange Statement Condemning the Killing of George Floyd

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange strongly condemn the police-killing of George Floyd: another black man killed on the streets of our nation. We are outraged and dismayed by this violent attack on human life. As we mourn with the family and friends of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee and all who have lost loved ones to law enforcement violence, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange join others in calling for change.  Here is what we will do.


  1. We urgently call for an end to harassment of people of color, the denial of their rights and dignity, and the continued killing of black people.

  2. We will pursue advocacy with elected leadership of the United States, from local to federal levels, and with relevant institutions to address the causes of systemic racism, white supremacy, and law enforcement violence against people of color. As an example, we advocate to end the use of life-threatening forms of physical restraint when a suspect is not resisting arrest and/or is already in custody.

  3. We will analyze our business interests and investments and ask for change when institutional racism is revealed. When change cannot take place, we will divest.

  4. We will utilize our communications resources, including our media assets and mission partners, to alert the community about opportunities to take action and effect change that halts institutional racism and ends law enforcement violence.

  5. We acknowledge our own complicity in institutional racism and ask forgiveness of people of color – with no expectation to receive forgiveness as a condition to act.

  6. We continue to affirm our statement from 2000: “The uniqueness, dignity and worth of every person derives from creation. Each individual is equally precious, illuminating life. To diminish that flame by denigrating, disrespecting, or oppressing people based on the color of their skin or their ethnicity or their culture is to dishonor the sacred in the world, in oneself and in others.…”

Racism is America’s original sin, infecting our nation since its inception.  Institutional racism, which privileges some at the expense of others, and other forms of hate and discrimination diminishes us all.  Racism denies the most profound truth: that all of us are created in God’s image and each of us is entitled to dignity and respect.  The well-being of humanity depends upon us dismantling these systemic, structural, and cultural realities endemic to the fabric of our country.

As women of faith, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange raise our voices, joining with men and women of like minds and hearts, to end racism.  We pray for the Holy Spirit to help rid ourselves of the sin of racism in all its individual and corporate manifestations.

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