NETWORK, the national social justice lobby founded by Catholic religious sisters, will host a webinar on Saturday, October 29 entitled “White Supremacy and American Christianity,” featuring progressive voices discussing the ongoing threat of systemic racism in US politics and religion.
The event will feature Fr Bryan Massingale of Fordham University in conversation with Dr. Robert P. Jones, founder and president of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), with NETWORK deputy executive director Joan F. Neal moderating.
It is the second event this year from NETWORK on the topic, following a half-day conference in April featuring Massingale and Jones alongside Pulitzer Prize winner Dr. Marcia Chatelain of Georgetown University.
“Earlier this year, thousands of justice-seekers tuned in to hear from experts noted for their work at the intersection of race, white Supremacy, and religion,” NETWORK said in an announcement of the new event.
“Join us online for what is sure to be an important and enlightening conversation ahead of this year’s midterm elections.”
Massingale, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, currently serves as a professor of Christian ethics in New York. He is currently president of the Society of Christian Ethics, and previously headed the Black Catholic Theological Symposium as well as the Catholic Theological Society of America.
In 2021, he received the Teacher of Peace Award from Pax Christi USA for his advocacy in the realms of social justice and anti-racism, and earlier this year the Ignatian Solidarity Network awarded him the Robert M. Holstein Faith Doing Justice Award alongside 2022 Teacher of Peace recipient Marie Dennis.
Massingale’s 2010 book “Racial Justice and the Catholic Church” remains a leading text on the topic of racism in the US Catholic Church, and he has spoken out notably in recent years on various related topics, including the effects of the Catholic sex abuse crisis on the Black community.
Jones, a former assistant professor of religious studies at Missouri State University, founded PRRI in 2009 as an opinion poll organization covering various topics of interest concerning religion and politics.
Like Massingale, he is a noted public speaker and activist and has written two popular books on racism in the US church, including “The End of White Christian America” in 2016, which won the Grawemeyer Award in Religion, and the 2021 American Book Award-winning “White Too Long The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity.”
Jones also maintains a popular weekly email newsletter titled after his second book, and is on the national program committee for the American Academy of Religion.
An in-person watch party will take place simultaneously on the campus of Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, followed by small-group discussions. Registration for that event is also available online.
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, a seminarian with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).