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Responding to Racism: A Lasallian Dialogue

A call to discussion and action, to work for racial justice and equity on June 25, 2020

/EIN News/ -- Eatontown, New Jersey, June 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On June 25, 2020, the Lasallian Association of Colleges and Universities (LACU) with support from the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools through the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) and its Districts of Eastern North America, Midwest, and San Francisco New Orleans will host Responding to Racism: A Lasallian Dialogue.

The virtual panel discussion is an initiative of the six Lasallian colleges and universities throughout RELAN: Christian Brothers University, Lewis University, Saint Mary’s College of California, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, and our La Salle University and Manhattan College. Continuing the work of the annual Lasallian Higher Education Colloquies on Racial Justice, which started in 2017, and in light of the national and international dialogue taking place now on the sin of racism following the killing of George Floyd, LACU invites the Lasallian and Catholic family to come together for discussion and action, to work for racial justice and equity.

To learn more and to register for this presentation on June 25, starting at 3:00 p.m. EDT, we invite you visit our event page.

Panelists and facilitators for Responding to Racism: A Lasallian Dialogue:
Hayden Greene, M.A. (panelist), is the founding director of Multicultural Affairs and the coordinator for the Multicultural Center at Manhattan College.
Kristi J. Kelly, Ed.D. (panelist), is the chief diversity officer and director of Multicultural Student Services at Lewis University.
Maureen O’Connell, Ph.D. (panelist), is an associate professor of Christian Ethics, Department of Religion and Theology at La Salle University.  
Luisa Marcela Ossa, Ph.D. (panelist), is an associate professor of Spanish and area chair of the Undergraduate Spanish Program at La Salle University.
Brother Ernest Miller, FSC, D.Min. (moderator), serves as vice president for mission at La Salle University. 
Frances Sweeney, Ph.D. (moderator), serves as a professor of Spanish and vice president for mission at Saint Mary’s College of California. 

This is the largest collaboration of its kind between LACU, RELAN through its Office for Lasallian Education at Christian Brothers Conference, and the District of Eastern North America, Christian Brothers of the Midwest, and the District of San Francisco New Orleans. 

Responding to Racism: A Lasallian Dialogue is not only a direct initiative in how we as Lasallians can act in response to systemic racism, but also fulfills the mission objectives set by the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools 45th General Chapter. The General Chapter, convened every seven years, sets the direction of the Lasallian educational mission worldwide. The Chapter affirmed that higher education “has a significant role to play for the Institute, society, and the Church” in providing “the tools to improve the quality of life of men and women today, particularly the poor” and “opportunities for dialogue between culture and faith.” Among other initiatives, it called upon colleges and universities in our global network to:  

  • Bring about greater mission effectiveness in Lasallian universities in coordination with the Districts and [Colleges and Universities] in terms of Lasallian charism, and stewardship of financial, material and human resources in aid of the Lasallian mission. (Circular 469, 3.22)
  • Develop mutually beneficial projects between institutions of higher education and their District. (Circular 469, 3.22)

This livestream dialogue is one more step in the collective efforts of the Lasallian Association of Colleges and Universities (LACU) together with the Institute in being faithful to our Lasallian educational mission to discover the root causes of poverty and, with great determination, promote justice and human dignity. (Rule of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, 16.1)

The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, inspired by the life and vision of John Baptist de La Salle, the Patron Saint of Teachers of Youth, is an international Roman Catholic order of lay Religious Brothers. Together, and by association with their Partners-in-Mission, the Institute strives to provide "a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor.” The Institute sponsors schools and other educational ministries in seventy-seven countries worldwide, including the ministries of the District of Eastern North America (DENA). Throughout the United States and Canada, there are more than 90 ministries and programs, educating and caring for more than 99,000 Lasallian students, thanks to the dedication of more than 10,000 Christian Brothers and Lasallian Partners in RELAN. DENA stretches from Warren, MI to Providence, RI, and from Toronto, Canada, to Washington, DC, and Homestead, FL.


Mr. Philip C. De Rita
                    The Brothers of the Christian Schools - District of Eastern North America
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