This year marks the sixth annual campus-wide observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Walk the Walk Week, a week-long series (Feb 22 - 28) of University and department sponsored events designed to help us consider how we—both individually and collectively—might take an active role in making Notre Dame a more welcoming and inclusive environment. The need for reflection and action to advance racial and social justice in our nation and in our communities has never been more urgent.
Given the global pandemic, we have had to find new ways to come together, first with a virtual conversation between distinguished jurist and Notre Dame graduate Justice Alan Page and Joseph A. Matson Dean of the Law School Marcus Cole on Feb. 19 to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and now the virtual events of Walk the Walk Week shown below.
On behalf of University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and the President's Oversight Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, we invite you to engage in the events of this week and to take time to reflect and engage in dialogue with other members of this community on your next steps.
Information about Walk the Walk Week events, including those campus departments and groups planning and sponsoring each event, can be found below.
Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, a 1967 University of Notre Dame graduate and the first African-American justice to serve on Minnesota’s highest court, will join G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean of Notre Dame Law School, for a virtual “fireside chat” at noon Jan. 18 (Monday), as part of the University’s commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Page has been inducted into both the NFL and College Football Halls of Fame.
The discussion, which would normally occur in-person as part of Walk the Walk Week, a weeklong celebration of diversity and inclusion, will take place on this site because of changes to
the academic calendar related to the pandemic.
The Lamentations of Jeremiah: An Intergenerational Conversation on the Crises of Our Time
Join Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr, an outspoken civil rights advocate, and Minister Tiauna Boyd Webb, one of the first Wright scholars to graduate from Chicago Theological Seminary, for an intergenerational conversation on building a more just and peaceful world.
Renowned for his exuberant oratory, Rev. Wright is a master of the jeremiad, a type of sermon that speaks truth to power by invoking biblical prophecy, offering a diagnosis of our fallen condition, and issuing a call to repentance. In 2008, his sermons were caricatured by media outlets thanks to sound-bite journalism, but “Jeremiah’s jeremiads” resonate with many as prophetic.
A former Wright Scholar, Minister Tiauna Boyd Webb is a young leader in the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, a recognized NGO of the United Nations that seeks to strengthen the individual and collective capacity of thought leaders and activists in the church, academy, and community through education, advocacy, and activism for human rights and social justice.
How to Fight Inequality and Why That Fight Needs You
Inequality is the crisis of our time. Join us for a student panel, led by former Kellogg Visiting Fellow Ben Phillips, whose widely acclaimed new book discusses inequality and how citizens must be the ones to address the issues. This event is more than an academic discussion – it is a practical conversation about what we can do to overcome an injustice that is hurting us all. Featuring Notre Dame undergraduates who have experience fighting inequality in various areas, this virtual event hopes to engage participants as well in a conversation about inequality and what each of us can do in the fight against it.
This event is presented by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies with cosponsorship by the Higgins Labor Program of the Center for Social Concerns. More information on the event can be found here.
Multicultural Student Programs and Services and the new Notre Dame Initiative on Race and Resilience invite you to a reading and moderated Q&A with Joy Harjo, the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States and the first Native American to hold the position.
The Initiative's inaugural event is presented in partnership with the Native American Student Association of Notre Dame. This virtual event is free and open to the public.
Joy Harjo is an internationally renowned poet, musician, performer, and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. She is the author of nine books of poetry, including the highly acclaimed An American Sunrise, several plays and children's books, and two memoirs, Crazy Brave and Poet Warrior: A Call for Love and Justice. Harjo is the executive editor of the anthology When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through — A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry and the editor of Living Nations, Living Words: An Anthology of First Peoples Poetry, the companion anthology to her signature poet laureate project, an interactive story map and audio collection featuring Native Nations poets.
*Please see here for Campus Liturgical Practices in light of the global pandemic.
Thursday, February 25
Language, Race and Justice
This session examines the intersections of language, race, identity and power. Drawing on recent work in raciolinguistics — the realm of linguistics which serves to answer the question “What does it mean to speak as a racialized subject in contemporary America?” — this interactive workshop asks participants to consider their own language stories and how language has shaped who they are and to what extent language repertoires inform perceived or real inclusion/exclusion in the speaking communities in which we participate.
Presenter: Erin Moira Lemrow, a Notre Dame faculty member in multiple departments, including First Year of Studies, the Institute for Latino Studies and the Institute for Educational Initiatives.
"Micro-Biases in Practice" with Professor Deseriee Kennedy
The American Constitution Society, Black Law Students Association, and Women's Legal Forum will welcome Professor Deseriee Kennedy, Associate Dean of Diversity & Inclusion and Professor of Law at Touro Law School for a virtual talk titled "Micro-Biases in Practice." Professor Kennedy will highlight her work on systemic racism, particularly as related to the carceral state and child welfare system. The talk will be followed by a Q&A. Join us via Zoom on Feb. 25 at 12:30pm.
The Snite Museum Student Programming Committee is hosting "Space at the Snite," a semester-long series of events to encourage students to think about community and belonging through art. This first program, organized in conjunction with Walk the Walk Week, will include conversations about works of art facilitated by Snite student gallery teachers. These works will explore the theme of racial justice as it relates to notions of belonging on this campus. There will also be opportunities to personally interact with work by prominent contemporary Black artists, including the work of Richard Hunt from the Museum’s permanent collection and a current installation by Kevin Beasley.
Join us at the Snite Museum of Art from 6:00 - 7:30 pm.
Reading and Discussion for "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi
In celebration of Black History Month and Walk the Walk Week, the Gender Relations Center and Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS) invite students, faculty, and staff to discuss Yaa Gyasi’s acclaimed book Homegoing. Homegoing weaves a story of two 18th Century Ghanian sisters and eight generations of their descendants. Please email email@example.com to register and receive the zoom link. All available copies of the book have been reserved, but you can obtain a copy here.
ACLU's Work on Voting & Immigration Rights in America
UPDATE: This event has been moved from February 26 to March 5, 2021.
Ms. Grace Chan McKibben is Executive Director at the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community, which seeks to empower the Chinese American communities in Greater Chicago through planning, advocacy, and organizing.
For over 25 years, Ms. Grace has held senior-level positions in education, government, corporate, and nonprofits. She currently serves on the Chicago Low-Income Real Estate Trust Fund Board; the Illinois State Asian American Employment Plan Advisory Council; the City of Chicago Language Access Task Force; the Illinois ACLU Board; and the National ACLU Board (of which she is also an elected member of the Executive Committee).
Ms. Grace Mckibbin will be hosted by the Notre Dame ACLU, to speak about the ACLU’s work, progress, and difficulties in addressing issues concerning voting and immigration rights in the United States.
The event is co-sponsored by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), and American Constitution Society (ACS).
Frank Leon Roberts: The Black Lives Matter Syllabus
Join the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights as Frank Leon Roberts, New York University, discusses the creation of his groundbreaking course, "Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance, and Populist Protest."
Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary is a weekly lecture series presenting preeminent scholars, thought leaders, and public intellectuals to guide our community through topics necessary to a deeper understanding of systemic racism and racial justice.
Lectures are available to the Notre Dame community via Zoom. Registration with a valid nd.edu or alumni.nd.edu is required.
Join The Black Alumni Board and The Southwest Region on Sunday, February 28th at 2:00p EST for a in depth discussion on the Black Wellbeing. You don’t want to miss it.
This event is FREE, but you must register to view the panel discussion. Be sure to check your email, the YouTube Livestream link will be included in the confirmation email. If you have any questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please submit any questions for the panelists HERE. You may also submit questions using the YouTube Live Chat function during the event.
Notre Dame Athletics Black History Month Art Gallery
Throughout the month of February, Notre Dame student athletes will periodically share the parts of Black history that resonate closest to them through art. Weekly posts will highlight a Black student-athlete and artwork (poetry, essays, painting, dancing, photography, etc.) of their choosing to deepen our connection to the diverse and vast parts of Black history.
Black@ND is a talk show created and co-hosted by Emorja Roberson and Lynnette Wukie, and it seeks to be a forum for an open and honest conversation that gives greater visibility to the experience of black students, faculty, staff, and alumni at the University of Notre Dame. Its purpose is to foster constructive self-criticism and awareness within the University community in order to contribute to the University’s mission to promote a spirit of diversity and inclusion.
As the national conversation about race and policing took shape over the summer of 2020, questions began surfacing about how police departments would respond. At Notre Dame, they were already working on an answer. With guests Keri Kei Shibata, Chief, Notre Dame Police Department; Mike Seamon, Vice President for Campus Safety and University Operations; and Matty Aubourg '21, Frontline ND and Vice President of Multicultural Pre-Health Society
Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, ND '67, joined G. Marcus Cole, the Joseph A. Matson Dean of Notre Dame Law School for a conversation on Jan. 18. They discussed the challenges facing the country and Page provided advice for making society more inclusive.
Walk the Walk Week Prayer Service
This year, since we are not able to gather in person, we encourage you to take a few moments to watch this video, and to join us in prayer and reflection as Walk the Walk Week begins and we mark the first Sunday of Lent.