Dear Members of the STM Community,
Since the fall semester of 2018, a small working group at STM -- Assoc. Dean Jackie Regan, Prof. Cathy Mooney, and Ph.D. student Armando Estrada -- has been working on an ATS-sponsored project for cultivating educational capacity around issues of race and ethnicity. (ATS is the Association of Theological Schools, STM's accrediting agency). This past January, the group made a presentation at the monthly faculty meeting at which they proposed, among other things, the formation of a school-wide community, the Committee on Race and Ethnicity (CORE). In light of the recent tragic events of racial injustice in this country and the justified outrage they have caused, the formation of this committee became all the more urgent.
I am pleased to announce the membership of CORE. You will notice that members include -- in addition to associate dean Regan -- faculty members, staff, and students, as well as an esteemed colleague from Campus Ministry. I am grateful to all the members of the committee, each of whom said Yes with great enthusiasm to my invitation to participate. The members are:
Jacqueline Regan, Associate Dean, Student Affairs and Career Services
Melissa Kelley, Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling
Cathy Mooney, Associate Professor of Church History
Felix Palazzi, Associate Professor of the Practice
Ben Valentin, Professor of Theology and Latinx Studies (joining STM in fall 2020)
Meyer Chambers, BC Campus Minister for Liturgical Arts
Kayla Burt, Assistant Director, Admissions
Karen Smith, Academic Services Specialist
Katie Christy, Current Student
Armando Estrada, Current Student
Danny Gustafson, S.J., Current Student
Marcy Wells, Current Student
The basic charges for the committee will be to serve as a venue for voicing concerns about race and ethnicity at STM; to raise awareness of racial justice and promote equitable practices in all aspects of the life at STM; to provide anti-racism resources for the ongoing formation and development of students, faculty, and staff; to promote programming around issues of race theory and racial justice (e.g., via conversations, activities, research and writing projects, pedagogies, advocacy actions, conferences, meetings, and discussion groups); and to encourage encounter and engagement with racially diverse communities through events and activities sponsored by Boston College, STM, and the local area. I'm also open to hearing from the committee about other ways they may serve STM in connection with racial justice. The committee will be a standing committee, and will function as advisory to me and my administrative team, as well as coordinate with other STM entities as appropriate. Membership is for a one-year term, though some members may be asked to take on more than one year of service.
While not a definitive and final response from STM, the establishment of CORE is an important step for our school in doubling down on our commitment to be a community that reflects the unity-in-diversity of the Body of Christ, and to be a school that forms ministers, chaplains, pastoral leaders, and teachers who will make striving for racial justice central to their work.
Please join me in thanking the above-mentioned members of CORE for stepping up to this service.
Tom Stegman, S.J.