Dear members of the BC Law community:

In my role as director of Boston College’s Forum on Racial Justice in America, I’d like to draw your attention to an important event in the Forum’s inaugural season that occurred last Thursday. I moderated a panel of three Boston College professors as they engaged in a fruitful discussion called “BLM at BC: Formation and Racial Justice in Higher Education.”

Their conversation covered a lot of ground. C. Shawn McGuffey, associate professor of Sociology and Director of African & African Diaspora Studies, called for, among other things, more specificity when looking at forms of racism, in this case, anti-Black racism. He pointed out that one takeaway from a recent BC student climate survey is that Black students feel far less welcomed than any other group. If we focus on how anti-Black racism differs from other forms of racism, we will improve the Black student experience at Boston College, as well as the overall climate for students of color. Régine Michelle Jean-Charles, associate professor of French and a scholar of Francophone African and Caribbean literatures and cultures, gender studies, and feminist theory, declared that “love was the genesis of Black Lives Matter” and that “there can be no formation and justice in higher education without attention to love.” Martin Summers, professor of History and a cultural historian, said teaching about structural racism in American history was central to his mission at the University and to the formation of both the BC community and its students.

This is only a snapshot of their provocative discussion; I hope that you will watch the full event here. And stay tuned for this week’s new Forum co-sponsored events: on Oct. 20, “Tools for Becoming a Racial Justice Warrior” from the Connell School of Nursing, and the Oct. 22 Courageous Conversations event “Racial Justice & Democratic Citizenship.”


Vincent Rougeau
Dean, Boston College Law School