Loyola University Maryland


Racial Justice: Beyond Rhetoric

 Messina Self and Other Image Square

Racial Justice: Beyond Rhetoric
7:00pm, 4th Floor Program Room, Andrew White Student Center
Sponsored by Loyola's Commitment to Justice, Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Center for Community Service and Justice, and Messina  
A Common Text and Self and Other Theme-Wide Event

About the Event: 

Especially at a Jesuit university, and at Loyola specifically, how do universities "walk the walk" in taking race and diversity seriously, beyond rhetoric--as a source of joy and inspiration as well as an opportunity to understand and see beyond current realities of race?

Resources for Attendees: 

  • Poem: Letters to My Teenage Sons by Kaye Whitehead
  • Blog: To All My White People by Jennie Allen 
  • Website: The Race Card Project by Michele Norris
  • Article: Spring 2013 The Greyhound Series on Race - Part I and Part II
  • Reading: Can We Talk?  by Beverly Tatum
  • Reading: Waking Up White by Jan Arminio
  • Reading: Living with Whiteness: A Project Aimed at Undermining Racism by John T, Warren
  • Reading: Against the Great Divide by Brian Jarvis
  • Reading: We Don't Talk Right. You Ask Him. by Joan Wynne

About the Panel Members: 

  • Peggy O'Neill is the Chair of the Writing Department at Loyola University Maryland.  She teaches Effective Writing, a first-year core course, and courses such as Introduction to Rhetoric, Style, and Rhetoric of Professional Writing. Her teaching is grounded in the basic rhetorical framework that highlights the role of audience, purpose and context in crafting a text.  O'Neills' scholarly work is primarily devoted to writing pedagogy and assessment. In addition to my teaching and scholarship, 

  • Purvi Patel is the Assistant Director of Student Life for the Hillside area. Purvi is originally from Dallas, Texas and  completed her B.A. in History at Loyola University Chicago and her M.A. in College Student Personnel at Bowling Green State University. Her interests in supporting college students largely stems from her own undergraduate involvement in co-curricular leadership through Student Government and the Multicultural Affairs Office. Prior to arriving at Loyola, Purvi was the Graduate Resident Director for Living Learning Communities at Oberlin College. 

  • Christina Stocks started working at Loyola in December 2012.  In her previous position she was a case manager for the Department of Human Resources. She provides administrative support for Christina Spearman, Ed.D. and Robbie Bacon.  She also maintains Student Life’s social media accounts as well as its website. Christina is passionate about helping children and young adults with mental health concerns.  She is currently pursuing a degree in psychology at a local college. 
  • Donald Vincent is a Loyola University Maryland graduate of the Class of 2010. After his educational journey at Loyola was completed, he went on to earn his MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, where he currently teaches in the First-year Writing Program. Donald also works as a Emergency Management Program Specialist within the National Preparedness Division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region I overseeing preparedness programs and activities throughout New England. When he is not at work, he hosts a poetry reading series which fosters a community between emerging and established poets, spoken word artists, and jazz musicians throughout galleries in Massachusetts and New York City. Moreover, he created and edited the Write From Wrong Literary Magazine with other Loyola alum to begin his adventure in the literary realm.

About the Moderators:

  • Reverend Dr. Heber Brown III grew up in a family of preachers, church musicians and vocalists, an upbringing that helped him to discover his passion to serve God and community. He earned a BS in psychology from Morgan State University and his Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond in 2005. Shortly thereafter, he was ordained in the Baptist Church.

    Today, Rev. Brown serves as pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in North Baltimore. He works alongside a variety of community organizations that address issues such as homelessness, poverty, racism, worker’s rights, environmental justice, peacemaking, and national/international social justice concerns. He is a regular voice in local media outlets and for nearly 5 years has explored the intersection of religion, policy and activism on his blog, Faith in Action. He is the recipient of the Ella Baker Freedom Fighter Award, the Kingdom Ambassador Award, and in 2007, The Baltimore Afro American mewspaper identified Pastor Brown as one of the “25 Under 40 Emerging Black History Leaders.” However, he says his greatest achievement is being a husband and a father. He and his lovely wife, Chante’ are the proud parents of one son, Heber M. Brown, IV.
  • Dr. Whitehead is Assistant Professor of Communication and African and African American Studies at Loyola University Maryland; the Founding Executive Director of The Emilie Frances Davis Center for Education, Research, and Culture; a K-12 Master Teacher in African American History; an award-winning curriculum writer and lesson plan developer; an award-winning former Baltimore City middle school teacher; and, a three-time New York Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program, her M.A. from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana in International Peace Studies, her graduate degree in Advanced Documentary and Narrative Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy, and her B.A. from Lincoln University, PA. In 2014, Whitehead was selected to moderate the White House's Black History Month Panel co-sponsored by President Obama and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History ASALH; she was one of the featured speakers at the 2014 Youth Mentoring Summit at the U.S. Capital in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington; and, in 2013, she was one of four experts selected nationwide to present at the President Obama’s first White House Black History Month Panel co-sponsored by ASALH. She has received various fellowships and grants to support her work including a 2012 Gilder Lehrman Fellowship in American History, a 2011 Lord Baltimore Fellowship from the Maryland Historical Society, a 2010 NEH Summer Stipend, and a 2007 SREB Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for Maryland (only one doctoral fellowship is awarded per state). Her most recent book, Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis (USC Press, 2014), received the 2014 Letitia Woods Brown Book Award for Best Edited Book in African American History from the Association of Black Women Historians. She is the author of Sparking the Genius: The Carter G. Woodson Lecture (Apprentice House, 2014); and, the co-editor of Rethinking Emilie Frances Davis: Lesson Plans for Teaching her 1863-1865 Pocket Diaries (Apprentice House, 2014). Her forthcoming book, The Emancipation Proclamation: Race Relations on the Eve of Reconstruction (Routledge) is due out November 2015. For more information, please visit http://kayewisewhitehead.com.

Questions for Further Reflection and Discussion: 

  1. How do you define your comfort zone? What is your comfort zone?
  2. What does diversity and racial justice mean to you? When did diversity (and in particular, race) first reveal itself to you?
  3. How do you define the other in relation to yourself?
  4. What is your responsibility as an individual student in helping the university walk the walk? What prevents you (us) from walking the walk?
  5. How do you balance the conflicting demands and competing agendas between working for racial justice and taking care of business (studying, work, wellness, etc).

Continuing the Conversation: 

For more information about this event and further opportunities, contact messina@loyola.edu

Abigail Vitaliano standing in front of the Humanities Building on a snowy day
Loyola Ready

A Transformative College Experience

“Loyola enabled me to become the best version of myself.” A former student reflects on her experience.

We are a green office logo