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BC Forum Will Examine Issues of Race in America

01/15/15
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By Office of News & Public Affairs |

Published: Jan. 15, 2014

The Boston College community is invited to a panel discussion on racial issues in America this Wednesday, Jan. 21, featuring five faculty members.

“Race in the USA: Expectations, Concerns and Hopes in 2015,” sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculties and the Jesuit Institute, will take place from 4:30-6 p.m. in Fulton 511.

Jesuit Institute Director James Keenan, SJ, will moderate the panel, which will include Law School Dean Vincent Rougeau; Associate Professor of History Martin Summers, director of the African and African Diaspora Studies Program; Professor of English Min Song, director of the Asian American Studies Program; School of Theology and Ministry Associate Professor Nancy Pineda-Madrid, who is vice president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States; and Assistant Professor of Sociology Gustavo Morello, SJ, organizer of a study on religious life in Latin America.

Provost David Quigley said the discussion comes at an appropriate time – not only in light of recent controversies concerning race in America but also because it takes place in the month celebrating the birth of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. He added that the event is one of several concerning race-related matters being planned by BC academic departments and programs for this semester.

“I’m pleased that this initial forum will launch a series of conversations on campus this semester about race and justice in the contemporary United States.”  

Added Fr. Keenan, “By the end of last semester, it became clear that the issue of race in America needed to be engaged more proactively than it has been.  After speaking with Dr. Quigley, we decided to host a panel of BC faculty whose insights and professional experiences would provide a prompt for other faculty to engage further the question of race in the USA.  
“We think, therefore, that this event will serve as foundational for other panels, seminars, classes, lectures, and discourses that could further BC’s engagement with this urgent topic.”

Quigley also noted that the University’s Unity Breakfast, an annual tribute to King at which Rougeau will be speaking this year, will be held the morning after the “Race in the USA” event [e-mail sharyl.thompson@bc.edu] for Unity Breakfast information and reservations].