Dear St. Francis College community -
Inspired by the work of the YWCA and other organizations, St. Francis College leaders and the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn invite you to join us in participating in the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge to promote the importance of raising awareness about racism and injustice.
Beginning today -- Juneteenth -- members of SFC community can commit three weeks to deepening our understanding of racial inequity and, importantly, listening to voices that may be unfamiliar.
In the Challenge document, you'll find recommended books, articles, films, podcasts and other materials.
We encourage you to spend time each day over the next three weeks with these materials, learning and reflecting on past and recent racial injustices, and enriching your knowledge about the significant sacrifices and contributions of African Americans.
The Challenge concludes on July 9th at 4 pm EDT with a live online event featuring reflections inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Ted Talk, "The Danger of a Single Story." You'll receive an invitation to this event next week.
Please know that this Challenge is one of the many actions we will take in coming weeks and months to enact a diverse learning environment that promotes dialogues about things that matter and that ensures that all members of the community feel like they belong even as we grapple, together, with appreciating difference.
Our work will focus on continuing to increase access and equity for historically underserved students, faculty and staff, to improve campus climate for all members of the campus community and to infuse inclusive excellence initiatives into the curriculum and co-curriculum. Students will be an important part of the process.
Please keep an eye on President Miguel Martinez-Saenz's Instagram account throughout the Challenge for my reflections on my own journey with it. If you decide to share on your social media accounts, please remember to use #sfc21dayracialequitychallenge.
Finally, for those of you unfamiliar with Juneteenth, please take a moment with this PBS piece. We also want to acknowledge Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. and Debby Irving, the original creators of the 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge.
As you prepare to begin a journey of deep and mindful reflection, we ask those who are followers of Christ, especially, to revisit two relevant Biblical passages: Matthew 25: 31-40 and Luke 10:25-37.
In peace and friendship,
St. Francis College
Brother Gabriel O'Brien, OSF
Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn