'Justice is JUST US:' sister to reflect on today's racism and inequality

Fri, Mar 15th 2019 03:00 pm

A nationally-recognized advocate for racial justice, Sister Anita Price Baird, DHM, will share her insights with friends of the SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence at the Center's 12th annual event on April 7. SS. Columba-Brigid Church, 75 Hickory St., Buffalo, will host the gathering at 3 p.m. A reception will follow in the parish hall.

Students from the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts will open the afternoon with excerpts from their play "Ruby: The Story of Ruby Bridges," the first African-American child to attend an all-white school in New Orleans in 1960.

Based in Chicago and guided by both her motto of faith, "Do whatever He tells you," and her conviction that the Eucharist "calls us to be one," Sister Anita has devoted more than 20 years working to eradicate racism. The first African-American to serve as chief of staff to the archdiocese's leader, she soon became founding director of the Chicago Office for Racial Justice. She was also Cardinal Francis George's liaison for race relations to the city. Sister Anita currently serves in multiple leadership roles at St. Sabina Church in Chicago and treasures her opportunities to preach.

Sister's congregation recognized her leadership abilities, electing her regional superior, provincial councilor and United States provincial. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious selected Sister Anita for the 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award. The National Black Sisters' Conference previously elected her president. She has received the Harriet Tubman "Moses of Her People" Award and the NBC-5 Jefferson Award for community service, as well as the City of Chicago's Fresh Spirit Award.

In 2007, she started promoting the special ministry embraced by Sister Karen Klimczak, who was murdered a year earlier. The center is a hub of activities promoting nonviolence. It works in collaboration with Buffalo Peacemakers, who assist at-risk youth and intervene against gang activities. Vivian Waltz, the executive director, and several board members conduct Alternatives to Violence Project workshops in correctional facilities, parishes, educational institutions and other settings. Recent collaboration includes Unite by Night, a group of young professionals working for positive change and common good. Camp Peaceprints has offered youngsters an opportunity for learning and fun for 12 summers.

Tickets for the April 7 event are $25 (adults) and $10 (students), with scholarships and group rates available. They may be obtained via the website at sisterkarencenter.org, by calling 716-893-0808, emailing info@sisterkarencenter.org, or at the door.

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