Social Justice Teach-in, Benedictine University
4 March 2020
Hello Esteemed Guests,
I just wanted to forward the message sent out by our campus CEO, Kevin Broeckling, this morning. It was truly an honor to see this on our campus. It was incredibly valuable for our students to see the work that is already always ongoing; and your presence helped make it special. Our students were so lucky to have you here with us.
Thank you again for being with us yesterday.
Laurelann Porter, MFA, PhD
Assistant Professor of Communication Arts
Benedictine University at Mesa
From: Broeckling, Kevin
To: #All Mesa Campus Faculty
Today was a fantastic day for our campus. I want to thank the students, faculty and staff who put so much thought, discussion, time, effort and energy into making sure the first teach-in at our campus in Mesa such a great success. It was fantastic to hear the discussion, to be challenged by alternative perspectives, and to see critical thought and civil discourse facilitated and happening in community.
I want to offer a special ‘thank you’ to the planning team for the teach-in:
Dr. Porter, Dr. Cella, Dr. Forde, Rob Curtis, Shay Masterson and Professor Siwek. A special ‘thank you’ to Andre Briscoe, John Conover and Myra Carlos who are always supportive of making sure these events go without a hitch.
Reflecting on the day's events and the discussions had, I think it appropriate we circle back to ask the question ‘What’s next?’ Our keynote, Dr. Neal Lester, challenged our perspectives, our understanding of bias and social norms, and how we view the world. The panel offered perspective and views to create empathy for those fleeing their homes for a better life and the injustice they feel daily. The final session trained students on how to be an ally and not a bystander when injustice occrs.
I encourage those who attended to once again consider the ideas shared in the context of how you will approach your life differently and to share those ideas with those who were unable to attend. How can you empathize more with others? How do you notice the bias built into our daily lives? When you see privilege and bias practiced, how do you respond? How will you intervene if/when you see injustice?
May the events of the day give you the opportunity to practice conversatio – to embrace the change that occurred within you following todays events; and to practice obedience – to listen intently and then take consequent action.
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
Many thanks to all who attended and the planning team who brought us together.
Chief Executive Officer
Benedictine University - Mesa