PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia took steps toward healing at a local Catholic school on Wednesday after a racist video involving students.
The Archdiocese held a special presentation at the school with a message to fight against what faith leaders say is the sin of racism.
The event, focused on healing, happened at St. Hubert High School for Girls in Mayfair. That healing needs to happen because of hurt.
"Several of our former students participated in the creation of a very hurtful video," said St. Hubert High School for Girls Principal Dr. Gina Mackenzie.
It was February when the video surfaced showing what appeared to be girls from St. Hubert and Franklin Towne Charter High School making racist comments.
One girl sprayed another's face black and called her a "slave." The student whose face was painted black responded that she is "Black and proud." Other students laughed in the background.
"The students are no longer a part of our school community," said Mackenzie.
The 458 girls who do still go to St. Hubert were among the first to see a new video from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Wednesday morning.
It coincides with anti-racism training that more than two dozen students signed up to receive under the Anti-Defamation League's No Place for Hate Program.
"I think it's the first time anyone's ever done this. So it's like an historic moment," said 9th grader Amelia Colon.
The six-minute video that the students watched highlighted the mission of the Archdiocesan Commission on Racial Healing which was founded in 2021.
With students from eight area Catholic schools watching during the program at St. Hubert, the hope is that the video will launch a wider discussion.
"The goal here is to begin and to continue the conversation station to help our young people to know that racism is a sin and we want to move forward from that," said Rev. Stephen Thorne, chairperson of the Archbishop's Commission on Racial Healing.
"I'm trying to be aware of my personal biases and stuff I need to work on when it comes to racial healing," said Colon.
Speakers including St. Charles Seminary Development Committee Chair Gerry Davis shared their experiences with racial bias.
"This whole issue of racism, it's an evil. And the devil loves to separate us," said Davis.
The goal is to foster harmony and respect.
"Today is part of our healing process," said Mackenzie.
That program was followed by discussions among students and staff, with the faith that healing can happen.
"Moving forward from the events that happened here in February to the newness of life," said Thorne, "(and) learning about how we become better citizens and help each other to grow as brothers and sisters."