Skip to main content

Loyola’s Karson Institute to host social and racial justice peace symposium

Karson Institute of Race, Peace, and Social Justice

The Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice at Loyola University Maryland will host a one-day symposium, “Race, Peace, and the Pursuit of Social Justice,” on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Knott Hall. Parts of the symposium will also be available virtually.

“For the past year, the Karson Institute has been facilitating conversations with students and thought leaders about racism, antiracist work, and social justice,” said Karsonya “Kaye” Wise Whitehead, Ph.D., professor of communication and African American Studies, and founding executive director of the Karson Institute. “We understand that it is not enough to talk about the problems, but you must be willing to do the additional work to pull together different communities in a joint effort to find and then implement solutions. We take seriously what Dr. King meant when he wrote, ‘Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’ The Race, Peace, and the Pursuit of Social Justice symposium is designed to do just that, bring together all communities—from high school students to college students, professors, teachers, and activists—to begin to share the issues that they are facing, work together to find solutions, and then be charged to take those solutions back to change their communities.”

The daylong symposium is open to the public, but registration is required. All students will receive free admission with a valid student ID.

Events during the symposium include: 

  • An opening keynote: “The Ongoing Debate about Critical Race Theory, From the Courtroom to the Classroom,” featuring Whitehead and William H. “Billy” Murphy Jr., Esq., senior partner, Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, will be held from 9-10 a.m. The event will be in person and via Zoom.
  • Conversations will be facilitated by guest speakers and will be held in breakout rooms from 10:30 a.m.-noon.
    • Room One: Stony the Racial Road We Trod: An open conversation outlining and exploring the ways in which racism, inequities, and activism intersect within America’s educational system.
    • Room Two: Peace, Protest, and Politics: An open conversation exploring the unique ways that democracy (and our understanding of it) and protest shape conversations, movements, and political decisions.
    • Room Three: Social Justice as the Moral Arc of the University: An open conversation on the ways in which the teachings of social justice activists and leaders can be used to model and teach social justice within our communities, in our school, and on our campuses.
  • A keynote conversation, “Creating Spaces to Explore Peace and Pursue Social Justice: The ongoing work to achieve international and domestic peace,” featuring Whitehead and George Lopez, Ph.D., professor emeritus and the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. chair of Peace Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame will be held from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
  • Session two of breakout rooms will begin at 1:45 p.m. Participants are encouraged to enter a breakout room different than the first session. A special session will be held for students to learn how to write and perform slam poetry.
  • Networking breaks will be held from 10-10:30 a.m. and 4-4:30 p.m.
  • Closing comments will begin at 3:30 p.m.

For more information about the “Race, Peace, and the Pursuit of Social Justice” symposium, including registration and ticket pricing, visit