ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — “The work is just beginning” that’s what you can hear from the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Its Advisory Council plans to address racism in all of its forms. With the upcoming year ahead of us they are now planning their new agenda.

The council consists of black clergy, men, and women from across the Diocese to discuss and acknowledge issues related to race along with how prejudice and biases have impacted individuals.

James Crawford, Advisory Council Member said, “We see this council as a means to get advice on the development of a concrete action plan, that the Diocese can use to utilize to inspire authentic relationships and achieve this sort of conversion that we’re seeking to accomplish.”

Although the Advisory Council is still developing an action plan, the next step is to actively listen to parish members’ stories and experiences about their battles with racism.

“The objective is to develop authentic dialogue, open and honest communication, in our parish outreach to have this conversation,” said Crawford.

Officials said although it is uncomfortable to discuss racism, and race especially for minorities, the painful history of the past has manifested inequities in the present that need to be dealt with.

“We’ll have to design some metrics to help us see what’s the best way to communicate, what communications are working, what communications are penetrating and also taking feedback and ensuring that we’re being responsive to what’s coming,” said Crawford.

Having met twice on Tuesday, the council will continue to meet in person and virtually on an increased monthly basis beginning in January.