A petition calling for action on racism and discrimination at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul has gained 11, 659 signatures.
The petitioner says the society failed to act against racism within its structures. The petitioner says that one of the largest charitable organizations in the world - The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, has allowed a culture of racism to thrive within its structures. The petitioner adds, "we want to make sure that the community is active in addressing racism and discrimination. Society has successfully covered these vices for years. Somebody has to call them up." The petitioner explains that he was inspired "by the courage of those who brought into limelight the sexual abuse scandals that rocked the church. Somebody stood up against these heinous crimes and said enough is enough." The petitioner also adds that he will be pleased to share what is happening in society with anyone willing to listen.
The petition calls for the change of policy on racism accusing the chapter of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Blessed Sacrament Conference of failure to appropriately respond to reports of racism inside the conference, as well as other complaints of unequal treatment made to the organization’s Los Angeles District upper council.
Since the petition was started, the previous Parish Life Director Dr. Yolanda Brown resigned and a new acting director was appointed. While acknowledging the achievement, the petitioner says they will continue until all the demands are met.
The demands included:
1. Archbishop Jose Gomez ordered the Blessed Sacrament to close the racist Society of St. Vincent de Paul conference for good.
2.The Acting Parish Life Director at the Blessed Sacrament Church can easily ask Pamela Hutton (Johnson) to close the conference; as well as Maria Herzer (Conference President), LaNordo Conn (Conference Vice-President), Nancy Miller-Stellos (Conference Secretary), and Jan Sooter (Facilities Manager) to resign from the conference.
3.Ray Sweet (SVDP Board President) can ask David Garcia (Executive Director of Operations), and Susan Santana (Executive Deputy of Operations) to resign from their positions with dignity or remove them for failing to resolve this situation. Their performance was not copacetic.
4.The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles District (OLAN; OLAS) must write and implement a new policy on handling racism, or any prejudice, and make it visible to the public with a public apology to Mr. Martin Miller and Silva Rico (another victim who was forced out of the conference when she complained to the upper council).
The petition is available at: https://www.change.org/defundracistcatholiccharities
About the petition
To ensure the community's active participation in addressing discrimination based on racism, the petition aims at encouraging taxpayers and business owners to refuse to donate to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (including its thrift stores) until they visibly change their policy on racism.
The issue of racism and discrimination affects the Los Angeles/Blessed Sacrament Church community, and this needs to be changed now! Please sign and share with others!
Media contact info
Martin Miller, MBA