A Toolkit for Change
In this week’s blog, Kate Carter, former Assistant Director of Transfer Admission at the University of San Francisco and a long-time supporter of the McCarthy Center, talks about her work on the Jesuits West Collaborative CORE Toolkit. This compilation of resources from the Jesuits West Collaborative serves as a guideline for understanding and implementing racial equity while being rooted in faith. Read on for Kate’s insights in the creation of this toolkit and how you can both use and contribute to it.
What motivated you to reach out to the McCarthy Center?
- I reached out to the McCarthy Center recently because USF is one of the five local institutions participating in the development of Jesuits West Collaborative Organizing for Racial Equity. Because I follow the McCarthy Center on social media I was aware of the efforts to register voters in the past few years. I wanted to add their efforts to our collective, province-wide efforts for public action and advocacy. I am on the CORE committee for Public Action and Advocacy. Our goal as we released the toolkit was to complete 10,000 actions in the fall term. We are currently more than 15,000 province-wide with actions in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana and Arizona.
What prompted the creation of this toolkit and what was your role in its creation?
- The desire for a toolkit on work for racial justice grew out of the Faith Doing Justice Discernment Series (FDJDS), an experiment in community organizing across the Jesuits West province. The CORE toolkit is the result of months of engagement with individuals from the Jesuits West province with each other. The COVID pandemic and racial unrest nationwide as well as a divisive election season provided context for our work. I participated in the discernment process as a member of St. Agnes Parish along with other students and staff from USF, St. Ignatius Parish, St. Ignatius College Preparatory and the Ignatian Companions locally.
- After months of intentional encounters across different works and regions of the province, participants in the FDJDS asked for a toolkit. Then, we co-created it. In doing so we sought to ask a simple question of ourselves, our schools, our parishes, our universities, our spirituality centers, our social service and community works: do we own the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the excluded in our midst? Are we making enough progress as followers of Christ and the Ignatian tradition? Are we risking enough? What would help us to make greater progress in our personal and institutional lives? What would embolden us to risk even more for the sake of love and justice? We wanted for change. We began in encounter. We created this toolkit.
Who are these resources for and in your opinion, what are the most important resources and why?
- The CORE toolkit if for all of us within the Jesuits West province: parishes, schools, universities, spirituality centers, others who are engaged in the apostolic work of the Jesuits; some USF students and staff were instrumental in the development of the toolkit. The toolkit attempts to provide all apostolates with resources to begin, advance, or continue the work for racial equity within our institutions, and to foster collaboration between apostolates to act for racial justice in our wider community.
How do you plan on expanding this toolkit in the future and how can others contribute?
- This toolkit is not complete. It is living and breathing, and it needs your help! If you have a resource you can add to our toolkit please add it here.
I appreciate the invitation to reflect on the work of this project and to invite USF students, staff, faculty and alumni to join in our collective work wherever and however you can. Racial equity is the challenge of our time and we are the ones we’ve been waiting for to do this important work.