Talk connects larger themes to Santa Clara
The Santa Clara
March 2, 2017
With social division seemingly becoming the norm in the U.S., racial and ethnic justice are heavily debated topics on the Mission campus.
On Feb. 22, the Bannan Institute hosted a roundtable dialogue about racial and ethnic justice, which featured six speakers from various departments on campus. Associate Professor Brett Solomon, Assistant Professor Cruz Medina, Professor Margaret Russell, Associate Professor William O’Neill, S.J., Associate Professor Hsin-I Cheng and Assistant Professor Anthony Hazard engaged in the discussion.
“This political moment requires us to resist racism wherever we find it, to interrogate the concept of race, along with constructions of whiteness,” Hazard said. “I would argue that these are absolutely necessary for the goal of building not a post-racial society, but a post-racist society.”
One overarching theme throughout the discussion was advancing the common good in the common home, as well as how the environment at Santa Clara can assist those affected by recent turbulence of social division.
Each speaker had a few minutes to answer three questions related to racial and ethnic justice. The questions encompassed pressing issues of racial and ethnic justice today and how Santa Clara can contribute to the advancement of racial and ethnic justice based on its Jesuit, Catholic mission.
“(The President) goes on his Twitter account and tries to make these assumptions about terrorism, secure borders and immigrants into facts,” Medina said. “If you Tweet it, does that make it a truth, right? That’s an important question.”
Medina said that the rapid influx of social media and other forms of mediated communication in modern society adds more facets to the controversy surrounding racial and ethnic issues.
Attendees and speakers also participated in small group discussions on the topics brought up during the panel.
Solomon’s group discussed the prevalence of ethnic and racial dilemmas for “outsiders” and the importance for knowledge rather than ignorance.
“How do we build those bridges in an effort to cross racial and ethnic lines?” Solomon asked her group.
Following the short roundtable discussions, each speaker quickly summarized the discussions at their respective tables. One theme throughout all discussions was the importance of engaging in dialogue about racial and ethnic dilemmas.
Further analyses on the subjects discussed during the event can be found on the INTEGRAL Podcast, hosted by the Bannan Institute.
“There are not two separate histories: one black, one white,” O’Neill said. “There is a single history—it is our common home.”
Contact Grant Pustelnik at firstname.lastname@example.org.