To commemorate Juneteenth, join us for a panel discussion with Black Catholic women on experiences bringing their full self to the Church. 

"What does it mean to be Black and Catholic? It means that I come to my Church fully functioning. That doesn’t frighten you, does it? I come to my Church fully functioning. I bring myself, my Black self, all that I am, all that I have, all that I hope to become, I bring my whole history, my traditions, my experience, my culture, my African American song and dance and gesture and movement and teaching and preaching and healing and responsibility as a gift to the Church." - Sr. Thea Bowman

Join us for a live conversation on Sunday, June 19 from 6-7pm EST. 

Watch the recording here.

Panel:

Kara Dixon is a reporter in Norfolk, Virginia. She grew up in Winchester, Virginia and is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. At UMD, she participated in the CBC-UNC Diversity Fellowship Program led by UNC and WRAL. During college, Kara was a member of Capital News Service and ViewFinder presented by the University of Maryland. Both programs won numerous regional and national awards. She spent two years as a multimedia journalist at KFDM/KBTV in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered everything from historic flooding to crime. Her station was awarded the Texas Associated Press Jordan Flaherty Award in 2016. After spending two years in Texas, Kara joined the WAVY Team in June 2016. In June 2019, Kara was one of 120 young women chosen to participate in the Given Forum, a Catholic leadership forum held in Washington, D.C. In 2020, she completed the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership’s Emerging Leaders Program at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Leadership. Kara is also a member of the Diocese of Richmond's Young Adult Commission. In her free time, Kara volunteers at local soup kitchens and reads to students. She is an active member of the Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, the only Black basilica in the United States, and assists in a variety of ministries.

Chenele Shaw holds a B.A. in theology from Ave Maria University. She is the host of podcast Ave Spotlight with Ave Maria Press, secretary for The Human Condition Community, and is a contributing writer to various Catholic publications including The Grotto Network, The Catholic Woman, and Our Sunday Visitor. Prior to her current work, Chenele taught Theology and Catholic Social Teaching in New Orleans and spent a couple years as a Director of Youth Ministry in Denver, CO. She currently resides in Florida and can usually be found searching for the best local ice cream, hosting friends at her home, and planning her next national parks trip. Chenele is currently the co-director of the Before Gethsemane Institute. She believes that the church is in need of a revival and believes BGI can meet that need!

Justina Kopp is a stay-at-home mom living in the Twin Cities, MN with her husband, Matthew, and their quadruplet toddlers: Cora, Raphael, Theodore, and Benedict. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of St. Thomas – MN where she studied Catholic Studies and Biology, and she currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Catholic Studies. Before marriage and family life, Justina served as a campus minister at the University of Minnesota’s Newman Center. Her life story, marked with the tragic loss of her father in the I-35W bridge collapse and the surprise of her quadruplets, has been told through various media and podcast outlets. When she’s not chasing her kids around, you can find her cruising around town with Starbucks in hand listening to her favorite true crime podcasts.

Sophie Baril Sachs spent part of her childhood in Haiti, and then moved to Florida at a young age. Sophie earned her undergraduate degree from Nova Southeastern University and her master’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University in DC. Following her early career years in the international development sector, she transitioned to working in the public sector as an international economics professional. Inspired by Ecclesiastes 11:6, Sophie looks forward to helping women cultivate thriving careers and lifestyles.

Join us for a live conversation on Sunday, June 19 from 6-7pm EST. 

Watch the recording here.

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