Black Woman Allegedly Denied Work At Church Because Of Priest's 'Racist' Dog
A church is the last place LaShundra Allen thought she would face discrimination.
A Black woman was allegedly denied work at the Catholic Church of the Incarnation in Collierville, Tennessee, because of her race.
On May 3, LaShundra Allen arrived at the church with her white co-worker, Emily Cleaver, for what was supposed to be their first day cleaning the church.
Upon entering the church, the two women were stopped by the secretary who stated she would have to check with Reverend Jacek Kowal, according to the Washington Post.
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The secretary later told Allen she was not allowed to enter the church because of the priest’s “racist” dog.
"I'm sorry, we are not trying to be rude, but the dog doesn't like Black people," the secretary said according to Newsweek.
The reverend made no efforts to speak with Allen directly and has yet to respond.
A discrimination complaint against the Diocese of Memphis was filed on July 3.
The diocese released a statement denouncing what happened as a case of racial discrimination. Bishop David P. Talley stated in a letter, the priest and church staff were concerned the dog would attack Allen based on a past incident the dog had with a Black person.
Allen and her attorney, Maureen Holland, believe the diocese is using the dog to excuse their racist behavior.
“Dogs can’t see color. Dogs can only be taught who to be around and who not to be around,” Allen said.
Allen also shared her concern about the priest and his work with the Catholic school that shares the same address as the church.
"I don't see how they can be around—and mind you that school has Black kids in that school—kids of various colors in that school. How are you OK teaching kids of color but not OK with someone of color cleaning your house?" Allen added.
Nick Signaigo, the owner of the cleaning company and parishioner of Kowal’s church, immediately severed the contracts with the school and the church. He has also pulled his children out of the Catholic school there.