Volume 3, Issue 12: April 1, 2021
R.I.S.E.* Up Newsletter
*Reinforcing Inclusion through Skill-building and Education
Photo of Bryan Stromer with quote - Never set your price too low because the world won't raise it.
As we arrive at the end of March, we continue to receive positive feedback about our terrific conversation with digital marketing professional and disability advocate Bryan Stromer earlier this month, widening the network and professional aspirations of all of our students, especially those in our new Wayfinders program. In his talk, Bryan encouraged all of us to use our gifts, appreciate our worth and chart our own paths. (A recording of our whole conversation with Bryan is now available! We have permission to share it only with our current students, faculty and staff. Please email my office at diversity@jcu.edu to request a link to the recording.)

Bryan inspired us to follow up on our conversation by selecting disability activist Judy Heumann's important new memoir for our Community Book Read for April (see below). Sign up today to join us!

As we head into the month of April, we do so amidst a number of religious holidays. While the university will be closed today and Friday in celebration of the Christian Easter Triduum, we also honor our Jewish students and colleagues who are celebrating Passover this week, as well as our Muslim and Hindu community members who celebrated holidays this past Sunday (Lailat al-Barah’ah and Holi). To all who are marking important religious holidays right now, we wish you all the blessings of this hopeful season. 

April is also Arab American Heritage Month. During the month of April, our newsletter will feature recommendations of books, articles, films and other resources for learning about the many rich and varied facets of the Arab American experience. 

While honoring the Arab American experience I would be remiss if I did not begin by highlighting the work of highly celebrated poet (and essayist, translator, and scholar) Dr. Philip Metres, who we are fortunate to have as Professor of English and Director of the Program in Peace, Justice and Human Rights here at JCU.

Dr. Metres' work spans a broad reach of scholarly interests, including Modern and Contemporary Poetry, Creative Writing, Literature and Social Justice, Palestinian and Israeli Literatures, Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation, Irish Literature and the Troubles, Russian Literature, Translation, and the Catholic Imagination. "A golden thread through my work," he says, "is a desire to lift up unheard or erased voices, to expose the systems of erasure and injustice, and to imagine the field where peace is possible and all can belong."

He has won many prestigious awards and honors for his writing, including two NEA fellowships, three Arab American Book Awards, the Lannon Literary Fellowship, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, six Ohio Arts Council Grants, the Adrienne Rich Award for Poetry, the PEN/Heim Translation Grant, the Beatrice Hawley Award, the Akron Poetry Prize, the Anne Halley Prize, the Creative Workforce Fellowship, the Cleveland Arts Prize, the Hunt prize, and, most recently, a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship

If you have an author, book, film, or other resource you would like to recommend that we feature for Arab American heritage month, please drop your idea into our Suggestion Box and we will incorporate it in a future newsletter. 
Headshot of Tiffany Galvin Green

Tiffany Galvin Green, Ph.D.,
Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

image of Dr. Phil Metres with quotation - We need refuge - a place to be fully immersed in self-forgetful joy if we want to resist injustice and oppression for the balance of our lives.
Holiday blessings to the members of many faiths
who make up our community:
To our Hindu community members who celebrated Holi this past Sunday:
image of a child covered in brightly colored powder and the words Happy Holi
To our Christian community members who will be celebrating Easter this weekend:
Image of three crosses with message - May the Glory of the Risen Lord fill your heart with joy.
To our Muslim community members who celebrated Lailat al-Bara'ah this past Sunday:
starry night sky with message - Wishing you many blessings on Lailat al-Bara'ah. May this Night of Forgiveness bring about a world where peace reigns among all people.
To our Jewish community members who are celebrating Passover this week:
Happy Passover
Division Announcements
DEI Division Announces Simple New Strategy for Ending Systemic Bias, Racism and Discrimination
We are pleased to announce that we here in the DEI division have devised a foolproof, simple and inexpensive strategy for ending all forms of structural oppression, just by making a few simple commitments. See the bottom of this newsletter for more information about our new strategy!
We have a new foolproof DEI strategy - Great news JCU. See below for more.
New Anti-Racism Resources for AAPI Solidarity & Support
available on our website
image from Cleveland march in support of the AAPI community. A marcher holds a megaphone in the air while others hold signs behind them
In the face of the recent spike in violence and hate crimes experienced by Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in the United States, the DEI division has added a new section, "Resources in Solidarity with AAPI Communities" to the Racial Equity Resources page of our website. This section includes articles, books, films, podcasts, and websites that you can use to help educate yourself, your colleagues and your students about the immediate (and historical) context of recent events, and discover action steps you can take to stop the rising tide of violence. (Photo: Stop Asian Hate March in Cleveland's AsiaTown, March 28, 2021. Photo credit: Ken Clunk. Published on social media by MidTown Cleveland)
April Community Book Read: Being Heumann
cover of book Being Heumann
We are pleased to announce the April selection for the DEI community book group read: Judy Heumann's new memoir, Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist.

Each participant will receive a copy of the ebook after registration. 

Book group meetings meet via Zoom on Fridays at 12:00 noon on the following dates: April 16, April 23, and April 30. (Please do not register if you are unable to attend at least two of the three scheduled meetings.)

This is a casual lunch-hour meeting; participants are encouraged to bring their lunch and eat during the meeting. 

Open to all students, faculty and staff. Spaces are limited, so register today! 
Poster with hand reading John Carroll University STOP BIAS - be informed - be involved - be empowered
Please share your feedback about the Bias Response System!
We are gathering feedback this week from students, faculty and staff about the effectiveness of the University Bias Response system. Please share your thoughts with us and help us to improve our systems and processes! Please take a moment today to complete our brief survey.
You can learn more about the Bias Response System at http://www.jcu.edu/bias
The Quest for Environmental and Climate Justice:
An Earth Day Talk by Dr. Robert Bullard
Monday, April 19, 2021, 4:00-5:30 pm EST
Live via Zoom with registration
promo image Robert Bullard event
Please join us for an Earth Day lecture on April 19 by Dr. Robert D. Bullard, often described as the father of environmental justice.

Dr. Bullard is the former Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University 2011-2016 and is currently Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy. He is the author of Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class and Environmental Quality; Race, Place and Environmental Justice After Hurricane Katrina; Environmental Health and Racial Equity in the United States; and The Wrong Complexion for Protection. In 2020, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) honored him with its Champions of the Earth Lifetime Achievement Award, the UN’s highest environmental honor, recognizing outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have a transformative impact on the environment.
This World Autism Day Celebrate Neurodiversity - champion and embrace people for who they are.
World Autism Awareness Day is tomorrow, April 2.

Please join us in marking the day by celebrating the many gifts of our diverse community - including our neurodiversity.
Last week's happenings at JCU...
Much happened on campus last week while our newsletter was on hiatus!
Here are a few events we wanted to share with our readers:
JCU Vigil for the Victims of Atlanta and Boulder
On Friday, March 26, the DEI and Mission divisions collaborated to host a vigil on campus to remember the victims of the mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16 and Boulder, Colorado on March 22, to pray for all victims of violence in this country, especially those members of the Asian-American Pacific Islander communities who are experiencing a profound spike in discrimination and violence this year. Our sincere thanks to all of our students, faculty and staff who participated.
photo from the March 26 vigil - altar table holding candle incense bowl framed painting and planter with daffodils
photo from the March 26 vigil - students in masks holding flowers
Photo collage of students decorating t-shirts for Holi celebrations
photo of students holding up their decorated t-shirts
Holi Celebration
The South Asian Student Association and Student Union Programming Board held a collaborative event last Sunday, March 28 to recognize the Hindu holiday of Holi, the Festival of Colors. Thanks to SASA student leaders for sharing their photos with us!
photo of two students holding up decorated tshirts
A Fond Farewell and Best Wishes to Dr. Aaryn Green
Banner image with photo of Dr Aaryn Green
Dr. Aaryn Green (Diversity Fellow, CSDI) has accepted an exciting new position at the American Sociological Association (ASA) as their new Assistant Director of Research, Professional Development, and Academic Affairs. Students, faculty and staff gathered earlier this week to celebrate Dr. Green and wish her a fantastic new journey. We will miss her!
R.I.S.E. Higher: Featured Article of the Week
The Pandemic’s Sexist Consequences
Academe’s stark gender disparities are exacerbated by Covid-19.
By Rose Casey, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 16, 2021
Covid-19 has precipitated a caregiving crisis with profoundly gendered effects. The well-documented decrease in women’s journal submissions is an early example of the pandemic’s impact. In coming years, we’ll probably see additional consequences, including widening gender divisions in attaining tenure and an increase in the gender pay gap. These effects will be particularly stark for racially minoritized women.

Covid’s collapsing of work into home life has made clear that what Tithi Bhattarcharya calls “life-giving reproductive labor” frequently falls on female shoulders. With schools closed, child-care provisions reduced, and care for other family members increased, pandemic time has heightened academe’s existing gendered inequalities.
Banner reads Watching Our Words
The "Watching our Words" feature discusses words or phrases in common use in American English with derogatory or offensive origins or meanings. Do you have a word or phrase you'd like us to feature in "Watching our Words"? Drop it into our Suggestion Box and we will explore it in a future newsletter!
Announcements from our network...
DEI News in the AJCU Network
Updates from the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
Logo of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
The AJCU Conference on Diversity and Equity (CDE) is accepting applications now for the Bill Davis Scholarship. Applications are open to full-time undergraduate students of color enrolled at an AJCU member institution with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

This scholarship honors the late Mr. Bill Davis, director of the Upward Bound project at Loyola University of Chicago from 1969-1990, and one of the founding members of CDE. This scholarship commemorates Mr. Davis’s commitment to education, public image, and student of color motivation. The CDE will award three $500 scholarships.

Applications are due by April 4, 2021.
The American Association of Colleges and Universities presents:
Quality, Equity, Affordability:
Why Open Educational Resources and Why Now
Monday, April 5, 2:00 pm ET - FREE
Open educational resources (OER) are educational materials, from single lessons to entire textbooks, that are free for faculty and students to use, customize, and share. Their adoption and utilization in course settings have been proven to be a viable affordability strategy for higher education; however, recent research is also revealing that OER can also positively influence quality and equity concerns. Panelists during this webinar will share the outcomes that have been attributed to OER, while also showing how OER can be leveraged to encourage more equitable, inclusive, and diverse classrooms.
The Jesuits West Collaborative Organizing for Racial Equity
Wrestling with Whiteness:
a 5-Week Training
Thursdays at 6:30 pm EST - starting April 8th
This training will create a shared understanding of whiteness, reflect on how it lives in us and shapes our lives, and utilize the gifts of Ignatian spirituality to prayerfully consider how we free ourselves to think and act outside of the dictates of white dominant culture. Participants will learn to articulate their own story of whiteness and analyze how their work is impacted by implicit bias and white supremacy, with a particular focus on how our faith institutions perpetuate these dynamics. Finally, participants will get equipped with tactics to train, organize and move other white people in the work of dismantling white supremacy.  

There will be about an hour of assigned prep-work for each session, a combination of readings, videos, prayer and reflection questions.  
New free publication from Inside Higher Ed:
The Black Experience in Higher Education
Cover image of Inside Higher Ed's publication The Black Experience in Higher Education
Last fall, in the wake of the national reckoning on race spurred by the killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans by police, Inside Higher Ed produced an eight-part series exploring "The Black Experience in Higher Education." This series has now been pulled together into a free compilation with reflection on today's context. Explore articles about topics such as faculty diversity, admissions barriers for Black students, curriculum and academic life, government funding and policies, and the status of Black staff and senior administrators.
Upcoming events from FutureChurch:
"Women Witnesses for Racial Justice" Series
FutureChurch's "Women Witnesses for Racial Justice" series continues with two more virtual events in the coming week:
painting by artist Janet McKenzie of Jesus and Mary - both depicted as Black
Good Friday Stations of the Cross, April 2 at 2:00 pm EST. Hear and reflect on the stories of courageous Black Catholic Women who dedicated themselves to living and sharing their faith despite bearing the unjust crosses of racism, slavery, poverty, segregation, sexism, and exclusion; hear and reflect on excerpts from Catholic Social Teaching on the issue of race and racism.
photo of author Olga Segura
Olga Segura on "Black Lives Matter and the Catholic Church," April 6 at 7:00 pm EST. For many Catholics, especially white Catholics, racism is a disconcerting, but distant problem that does not affect their lives. Most do not know that Catholic Social Teaching addresses our responsibility to address the harm and violence racism and white supremacy engenders. Join Olga Marina Segura, Opinion Editor for the National Catholic Reporter, as she speaks about the Church's radical call to dignity and equality for all people. 
The Shepherd Consortium Presents:
Practicing Equity at the Intersection of Race and Poverty:
A Conversation with Dr. Patricia Hill Collins
Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Patricia Hill Collins
This event will engage reflections and insights from Dr. Patricia Hill Collins on the program theme, through her work with co-author Sirma Bilge on their book Intersectionality, 2nd edition. Community members will submit their questions ahead of the conversation, which will be moderated by Dr. Louwanda Evans, Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Millsaps College.
Restore Cleveland Hope Virtual Freedom Festival
Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm
logo of Restore Cleveland Hope with drawing of Cozad Bates house and railroad image
You are invited to join Restore Cleveland Hope for a virtual celebration of the opening of the new Underground Railroad Interpretive Center at the Cozad-Bates House in University Circle.
Cleveland event commemorates
Dr. King's speech, "A Time to Break Silence"
Monday, April 5 at 7:00 pm - virtual via Zoom
Promotional flyer for Breaking the Silence program April 5
Several Cleveland organizations will co-host an intersectional local event to commemorate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s "Breaking the Silence'' speech of April 4,1967 at Riverside Church in New York City. This historic speech condemned US militarism, racism and poverty, and represented a significant expansion of Dr. King's thinking on the root causes of the challenges U.S. society faced.

Excerpts will be read from Dr. King’s speech, with discussion following about how the lessons from his prophetic speech can be realized throughout the Northeast Ohio community.

Co-sponsoring organizations include Cleveland Peace Action, The Cleveland Observer, Coalition for a Better Life, Cleveland Nonviolence Network, Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, End Poverty Now!, Ohio Poor People's Campaign, Coalition for a Better LIfe, dba Peace in the Hood, Inc., Black Lives Matter Cleveland, Black Spring Cleveland.
Looking for our big breakthrough development in DEI strategy?
April Fool's. You knew it sounded too good to be true.
We're sorry to say that our "breakthrough development" for an easy solution to all the systemic problems we face is an April Fool's joke, not a reality. 

While it would be wonderful if all structural issues could be solved by making a few simple commitments, we know that it's just not that easy. Long-standing systemic problems like racism, bias, and discrimination have to be addressed at their root, and that can be a complex and long process.

However, we CAN celebrate some great news today. We can find inspiration in the fact that here at JCU, we are surrounded by great people who are committed to doing the hard work, to embracing the complexity, and to supporting institutional efforts to make real, sustained, authentic change. We believe that change is possible, and we're working to make it happen.

(And that's no joke.)