Racism / Minorities

Diocesan Task Force for Racial Justice

James Forstall, Chair

  • Phone: (217) 546-2107
  • Email:

Rev. Joseph Zimmerman, O.F.M., Vice-Chair

  • Phone: (217) 228-5485
  • Email:

Sister Jane Boos, SSND, Director, Office for Social Concerns

  • Phone: (217) 698-8500, ext. 167 or 130
  • Email:

Liaison Leroy Jordan, Coordinator, Black Catholic Ministry

  • Phone: (217) 698-8500 ext. 168
  • Email:

Mission Statement

  • The mission of the Diocesan Task Force for Racial Justice is:
  • To assist the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois , both clergy and laity in addressing the sin of racism in the church and in Society
  • To provide opportunities for Catholics in our diocese to reflect on how racism touches their lives, and to grow toward a "change of heart"
  • To facilitate diocesan religious action toward improving race relations
  • To provide an opportunity to dialogue with other Task Force members regarding effective strategies that further the goal of promoting racial justice.


GOAL I - to develop an awareness and appreciation for cultural diversity in the diocese

  • Objective 1
    • To promote cultural diversity with our diocesan youth
  • Objective 2
    • To offer presentations and raise awareness on racism on the diocesan level
  • Objective 3
    • To offer cultural diversity workshops in parishes, deaneries and communities

GOAL II - To educate our youth on the church's teaching on the sin of racism

  • Objective 1
    • To continue and expand programs for diocesan youth
  • Objective 2
    • To promote training of persons engaged in cultural diversity education


Father Augustus Tolton 1854-1897
The nation's and the Diocese's first black priest
GOAL III - To promote the celebration of the life of Father Augustus Tolton
  • Objective 1
    • To share the story of Tolton with schools.
  • Objective 2
    • To share the Black Catholic History Exhibit

GOAL IV - To develop specific actions that promote the dignity of the human person by addressing social justice issues

  • Objective 1
    • To continue encouraging church leadership to be inclusive in hiring and in choosing committees, task forces and committee members.
  • Objective 2
    • To collect information and statistics about "positive actions" that have occurred in our diocese.
  • Objective 3
    • To develop informal groups that allow persons of different cultures to socialize together.
  • Objective 4
    • To provide opportunities where people of different cultures can discuss issues of conflict.
  • Objective 5
    • To continue encouraging church leadership to invite people of color to be servers, lectors and Eucharistic ministers