August 31, 2017

Talks at Catholic University Will Include Personal Experiences and Encourage Moral Growth

On Thursday, Sept. 21, Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, Ill., will visit Catholic University to address issues related to the racial divide and religion.

  • The Catholic Church and the Racial Divide in the United States, 3 p.m., in Father O’Connell Hall, Heritage Hall
    The bishop will speak to graduate students, sharing his own personal experiences of the new awareness of the racial divide and the need for Catholics to address it. He will address conflicts between young black men and white law enforcement officers, while inviting the audience to reflect on these events within the context of Catholic teaching. The effects of the use of the words “minority” and “minority groups” will be examined.
  • The Catholic Church and the Black Lives Matter Movement: The Racial Divide in the United States Revisited, 8 p.m., in the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center, Great Room.
    Bishop Braxton will be the speaker at the first CUA on Tap of the academic year. He will share the painful personal experience of attending the wake of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955. Till was slaughtered in Money, Miss., after being falsely accused of flirting with a white woman. Bishop Braxton will also share how he personally learned about the slogan “Black Lives Matter” and the international movement. He will explain some of the tension between Catholic teachings and positions held by the Black Lives Matter movement.

In both presentations, the bishop will draw from the most current examples of the racial divide. He plans to emphasize the “fundamental imperatives for all fruitful learning and moral growth” — listen, learn, think, pray, and act.

“On a number of occasions last year students broached expressed interest in exploring intersections between the Black Lives Matter movement and Catholicism,” says Ferentz Lafargue, director of the Center for Cultural Engagement. “I think students will be very glad to hear Bishop Braxton’s perspective on this issue, as well as his reflections on race relations more broadly.”

MEDIA: To attend either talk, print media should contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600. Reporters must R.s.v.p. by Monday, Sept. 18. The 3 p.m. talk will be livestreamed at

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