A Symposium with Journalists from The Boston Globe Spotlight Team

In April 2018, A Faith That Does Justice was proud to welcome members of the Boston Globe Spotlight Team for a symposium, Racism: An Ongoing Dilemma. We were joined by the Boston Globe Spotlight Team Editor Patricia Wen and reporters Akilah Johnson and Liz Kowalczyk. Rev. Rahsaan D. Hall of the Massachusetts ACLU moderated the discussion.

In December 2017, The Boston Globe ran a seven-part Spotlight series that highlighted Boston’s continuing struggles to effectively address racism in the region. As the Globe team began investigating the issue of racism, they quickly realized this was bigger than one story. With so many different areas and industries to explore, the story became a week-long series. The series looked at how racism shapes current neighborhoods, the health care system, higher education, and more in the greater Boston area.

Our symposium discussion focused on what the Globe learned through their research and reporting about racism, Boston, and ways the city can improve racial relations. Over 180 attendees came to hear from our panel and join in the conversation, signaling that this is an important conversation we should continue having in our neighborhoods and communities. At the close of the discussion, each panel member was asked, “Is Boston racist?” Each panelist had a different response, but the ultimate determination was that, while there is no easy answer to the question – there was certainly enough evidence of racism to support the series, and the reputation Boston has received in some areas.

We all have a role to play in combating racism in our communities, through continued discussions and self-exploration – we can each make a difference.

As A Faith That Does Justice continues our work to create solidarity within the community, these community conversations serve as an avenue to bring people together and move conversations forward.