Episode three

There is lots of talk about dismantling racism these days. But what does that mean to the people who are committed to the process? Two veterans of the antiracism movement share their experience and wisdom.

Introduction

There is lots of talk about dismantling racism these days. But what does that mean to the people who are committed to the process? Two veterans of the antiracism movement share their experience and wisdom. 

About our guests

Wendi Wells El-Amin, MD, is the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Her passion for equity and dismantling the systems that underpin health disparities is unparalleled in our community. She has won numerous awards and accolades for her teaching, and she brings a heart for service, justice, and healing to everything she does. She serves on the boards of the Central Illinois Boys and Girls Club, Springfield YMCA, and the Community Foundation of the Land of Lincoln and is a member of the ELAM 2020 class of fellows. 

She is also on faculty in the Department of Family and Community Medicine and provides care at the Center for Family Medicine in Springfield. Dr. El-Amin is dually appointed to the SIU’s Department of Medical Education. 

She served as assistant dean of medical education at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville (2007-10). She also served as director of outreach at the Center on Health Disparities and director of the UVA Cancer Center Health Disparity Initiative (2006-10) and as an assistant professor of family medicine and public health (2005-10), all at the University of Virginia. El-Amin was in private practice at Wills Diagnostic Clinic in Houston, TX. (2001-03). 

Sister Marcelline Koch, OP, has learned to believe and find hope in networking with others to make a difference in our world. She knows that the work needs to be grounded in our prayer and contemplation. She is a Dominican Sister of Springfield, Ill., and directs the Office of Justice for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield. In this capacity, she serves as the Justice Promoter, Co-coordinator of the Springfield Dominican Anti-Racism Team, and liaison for the congregation’s Socially Responsible Investing effort. 

She served on her congregation’s leadership team for eight years and spent her early years as an elementary school teacher and administrator.  

Sister Marcelline was the founding director of Project IRENE in 1996, an initiative of LCWR Region 8 to educate and advocate on issues of violence against women and children. 

She served on the trustee board of the International Committee for the Peace Council, 2004-2015, which worked to bring the wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions to bear on threats to peace.  

From 2014-2020 she helped to coordinate the justice work of the Dominican Family as the North American Co-Promoter for Justice, collaborating with a Dominican friar in this effort. In this capacity she was part of a delegation to Iraq in January 2015, five months after the Iraqi Dominicans’ displacement to the Kurdistan region. Being co-promoter also included membership on the Dominican International Commission for Justice, with yearly gatherings in Rome or Geneva to learn about and plan for Dominican justice efforts around the world. 

Currently, Sister Marcelline volunteers with the Springfield Coalition on Dismantling Racism and the Springfield Immigrant Advocacy Network, connecting to local efforts on dismantling racism and supporting immigrants.

Takeaways

Our favorite bits of wisdom from this week's guests to share in social media.

  • A framework for understanding institutionalized racism: race prejudice plus the abuse of power in systems and institutions. 
  • “Anti-racism isn’t the liberal agenda, it’s the Gospel agenda.” —Sister Marcelline Koch 
  • Antiracism in Springfield has benefitted from “the butterfly effect.” The initial work of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield has expanded to include SIU School of Medicine, and through them, all other colleges in the SIU system. 

Resources

Here is a simple but powerful image to demonstrate the difference between equality and equity. 

Take a Harvard Implicit Association Test 

Learn about the antiracism work of SIU School of Medicine 

Learn about the antiracism work of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield 

Learn about the Intercultural Development Inventory 

Playlists

Sister Marcelline’s top three 

Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond 

Pachelbel Canon, Brooklyn Duo 

Handel's Water Music, Orchestra del Teatro Massimo 

2 thoughts on “The Transformative Effects of Antiracism”

  1. JACQUELINE ZIMMER

    For three years I have been serving on the Social Justice Ministry at my parish, St. Francis of Assisi in Vista, California. Or focus has been on housing for the many homeless people in this area. After listening to this last flowcast on anti-racism I plan to tell our group about it and suggest that they listen to it. I think it will broaden our perspective about where to direct our attention. Presently we are preparing for a meeting of townspeople to interview people running for local offices. We need to start planning beyond that. Thank you to Sister Marceline and Dr. El Amin for their podcast.

    1. Sister Beth Murphy, OP

      Thanks Jacqueline! This is how the “butterfly effect” works! Thanks for spreading the news. Mind telling us how you found F.L.O.W.cast?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *