When Tragedy Comes Home

About the photo: Springfield Dominican Antiracism Team (SDART) meeting, fall 2022.

Dominican Sisters of Springfield Endorse Black Sisters Conference’s Call for Police Reform, Turn Attention to Killing of Springfield Resident Earl Moore, Jr

Springfield, Ill.—The national and local need to speak out about the senseless deaths of black persons at the hands of civil servants is colliding in Springfield, Ill., as the Dominican Sisters of Springfield endorse a statement by the National Black Catholic Sisters Conference calling for police reform while speaking out in response to the killing of Springfield Resident Earl Moore, Jr, his death alleged at the hands of two EMTs, just blocks from the neighborhood where five Dominican Sisters live.

National Black Sisters Conference

Since 1968, the National Black Sisters' Conference (NBSC) has existed as an inclusive Catholic organization of vowed Black Catholic women religious and associates from many congregations of religious across the United States.

Their statement, in direct response to the killing of Tyre Nichols in Memphis January 7, asks “When will we wake up as a nation?” and calls for immediate passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, more progressive oversite and accountability of police departments by the Justice Department, local and state reform of policing, and the end to police brutality in Black and poor communities.

Read NBSC statement here

Earl Moore, Jr

Though the killing of Earl Moore, Jr, in Springfield on December 18, 2022 was not directly the consequence of poor policing, the NBSC and the Springfield Dominicans both call for a response.

The NBSC statement says “The five Black police officers who brutally took Tyre's life as he cried out for his mother were indoctrinated into a corrupt system and freely chose to perpetrate violence against other Black people in the name of institutionalized racism.”

The Dominican Sisters’ statement recognizes the power of that institutionalized racism to damage the souls of all people of every race, and calls for Americans “To decide as a nation to seek healing from the evil done to our souls by continued racial oppression and our enculturated insistence on the supremacy of whiteness.”

Read Dominican Sisters statement here

The EMTs facing murder charges in the death of Earl Moore have a pre-trial hearing in circuit court on Monday, February 6.

About the Dominicans

150 years ago, this branch of the Order of Preachers—the Dominicans—was founded in Jacksonville, Ill. and has been a consistent source of education, spiritual formation, healing, and justice ever since. In 2005 the Dominicans established SDART, the Springfield Dominican Antiracism Team, and in doing so welcomed partners of color to join their efforts to disrupt the impact of structural racism within the congregation’s institutions. The work continues to this day in three sponsored high schools and within other congregational ministries.

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