By a vote of 190-3, with 2 abstentions, the bishops approved the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism for another three years.
The ad hoc committee was established in August 2017 in the wake of increasing racial tensions and white nationalist activism. Its work has included a press conference at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., an award-winning children's book on healing and reconciliation, and the creation of resources for the Sept. 9 Feast Day of St. Peter Claver as an annual day of prayer for peace within communities.
The committee also promotes education, resources, communications strategies, and care for victims of racism. It is funded by the Knights of Columbus, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and the Black and Indian Missions Office.
The bishops' conference released a pastoral letter dedicated to fighting racism in 2018, entitled, "Open wide our hearts: the enduring call to love."
The committee has been led since May 2018 by Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La. It was previously led by Bishop George Murry, S.J. of Youngstown, Ohio, who resigned in 2018 due a recurrence of leukemia.
The U.S. bishops also voted Monday to approve the 2021-2024 USCCB Strategic Plan, which guides the allocation of resources and personnel at the conference.