Racial Justice Sunday is on 17 February 2019. The theme this year is “Dignity for all workers”, recognising the problems faced by people due to racism and ethnic discrimination in the workplace.
In a world steeped in violence, conflict, and discrimination, the Gospel demands that we acknowledge the dignity of the human person, the necessity of building peace, prosperity, justice for all. In Octogesima Adveniens and Gaudium et Spes, St Paul VI teaches that “all people have a right to work … to lead a worthy life on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level”. We are therefore called to ensure people are not exploited while they work, and to open our hearts to those who face this hatred. “As you did this to the one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me…”
In our task as disciples of Christ, our responsibility is to make sure people are treated with dignity at work and are not exploited. Migrant communities and those suffering from racial abuse are particularly vulnerable to being drawn into unjust working conditions and labour exploitation.
‘Dignity for all workers’ reflects on of the themes of Love in Action. The work people do should be valued, because the person him/herself must be valued. As part of this, people deserve a fair, just wage for the work they do. They must also be provided with proper working conditions within which to carry out their role. Proper working conditions mean not being discriminated against, or unfairly judged. Work is more than simply being able to earn money. It is about being able to support oneself, and one’s family. It is about finding a role and place within society. It is linked to flourishing as a person, and finding fulfillment, a sense of purpose and worth. This cannot be achieved if there is racism and ethnic discrimination in the workplace.
To find out more about Racial Justice Sunday, and to download the resources click here.
To find out more about the themes of Love in Action, and how it can work in your parish, click here.