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President Miguel Martinez-Saenz
February 2, 2022

Honoring Black History Month

By President Miguel Martinez-Saenz

Dear St. Francis College Community,

As we move into the month of February, designated Black History Month and officially recognized by President Ford in 1976, I ask you to take the opportunity to learn and reflect. These moments and commemorations are opportunities for us to reflect on the significant sacrifices and contributions of African-Americans. There will be announcements regarding some programming but please consider taking this opportunity to spend time daily over this month reflecting and learning.

With that in mind, I share with you a brief passage from a book that I go to periodically to be provoked as I aspire, however imperfectly, to be a champion, like Jesus and our patron Saints Francis and Clare, for raising the voice of the underserved and those who have been marginalized. This passage comes from the pen of a great American, a historian, a sociologist, a political activist, and a novelist--W.E. B. DuBois:

Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it. They approach me in a half-hesitant sort of way, eye me curiously or compassionately, and then, instead of saying directly, How does it feel to be a problem? they say, I know an excellent colored man in my town; or, I fought at Mechanicsville; or, Do not these Southern outrages make your blood boil? At these I smile, or am interested, or reduce the boiling to a simmer, as the occasion may require. To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word.

W.E. B. DuBois - Poetry Foundation

Embracing our commitment to creating a diverse learning environment where everyone feels like they belong requires us to develop cultural and moral competencies so that we can engage all our sisters and brothers compassionately, lovingly and graciously.

In peace and friendship,

Miguel Martinez-Saenz


St. Francis College

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