Social Justice with a Focus on Racial Discrimination

Religious Education (RE) provides width and breadth to our students’ learning that is far broader than Catholic beliefs and practices. RE at Santa Maria covers a huge range of contemporary issues that help students better understand Catholic social teaching. 

Our Year 10 RE classes have been looking at social justice issues and are currently exploring the impact of racial discrimination on the dignity of the human person.

Reverend Hollis Wilson joined our students this week to share his personal knowledge and experiences on the topic. Hollis is an African American, raised in Los Angeles with family roots in Mississippi and Georgia, and was able to bring to life many of the movie references the girls were familiar with from Hidden Figures, 12 Years a Slave, The Help and Mississippi Burning. In an hour he walked his audience through the devastating impact of slavery, the hope of the Civil Rights Movement, and the tragedy of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Rev Wilson is the chaplain at Methodist Ladies College and a former NASA engineer, he was made to feel very much at home by our Year 10 students.

Here are reflections from some of the girls.

“Reverend Hollis Wilson was very inspiring and full of moving stories from both a personal and African American perspective. I learnt a lot about the Black Lives Matter movement and the Civil Rights movement.” Siena Monck

“Reverend Wilson’s talk about his personal experiences as an African American in the US was really interesting, honest, and authentic. He spoke from a very personal and sincere point of view and provided knowledge and stories from the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and race issues in America today. “ Olivia Taliangis

“Hollis Wilson was very engaging and informative as his presentation related to studies in several of our learning areas. His presentation provided us with important knowledge about civil rights and social justice and allowed us, for a little while, to step into the shoes of a person of colour during difficult times.”   Brooke Murphy and Mikayla Wohlsein

“Our presentation with Rev Hollis Wilson was about the issues of social justice in America, both in the past and present. He shared some interesting information about the history of slavery, and I enjoyed hearing his personal insights into the Black Lives Matter movement. Hearing some of the African American experiences of segregation was quite shocking, but I think it provided a very real understanding of social justice issues and moved many of us in the room.“ Lauren Winship

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