Volume 3, Issue 14: April 15, 2021
R.I.S.E.* Up Newsletter
*Reinforcing Inclusion through Skill-building and Education
Image of Patrick Saint-Jean with quote - I am starving for a day when I can walk with freedom in the Land of the Free... Today in America I am starving for justice.
This is a hungry moment. 

This week our Muslim community has begun the 30 day observance of Ramadan, the ninth and holiest month of the Islamic calendar. During this time, many of our Muslim colleagues, students, community members and friends will fast from food and drink from sunup to sundown, adhering to the sacred practice of sawm. The fast is a time of practicing self-denial and willpower in order to draw closer to God, to remind oneself of those things that are most important in life, and to enter into deeper solidarity with those whose lives are shaped by hunger. 

But just as fasting is more than a physical self-deprivation, hunger can be more than a physical experience. For many people (far too many), hunger is indeed characterized by food insecurity and lack of access. But there are other kinds of hunger, too.

As we mark our 13th month of this pandemic, many of us feel starved for human closeness and connection, longing to escape our isolation and return to the life we knew before. We are hungering for better systems and structures to protect people from the economic and social disasters caused by the pandemic. We are hungering for an escape from the health burdens of this year, both physical and emotional. We are hungering for relief from the loneliness and losses we continue to experience. 

April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and in this month especially, we experience a hunger for a world safe from violence, for a world where all people’s experiences are heard and their stories believed, and for a community that supports and holds up all who experience the particular pain of sexual violence. 

Lastly, many of us feel the acute hunger of those who are marching in the streets this week in renewed calls for justice and racial equity. As the world watches to see what will happen in the ongoing trial of the Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, and as yet more grieving families -- this time, those of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Minnesota and 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago -- seek answers about the deaths of their sons at the hands of police in recent weeks, many of us share this hunger for justice, for righteousness, for all people to be treated with equal dignity, for all people to be able to feel safe in their communities. 

As our Jesuit colleague from Creighton University, Patrick Saint-Jean, says, “Today in America, I am starving for justice.”

Whether our hunger is physical or spiritual, whether our hunger is for companionship, or justice, or relief from suffering, we remember that the experience of hunger is one that can -- if we allow it -- draw us closer to what is most important, teach us solidarity, and ultimately, call us out of ourselves into the fight for a more just, more healthy, and more whole society. 
Headshot of Tiffany Galvin Green

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

Division Announcements
Image of crescent moon with the words - We wish all the blessings of Ramadan to the Muslim members of our JCU community. Ramadan mubarak.
Ramadan Mubarak!

Ramadan began this week (April 12) and continues until May 12. As President Johnson and Provost & AVP Herbert stated in their joint message to the community on Monday, our entire community is encouraged to be attentive to the needs of our students and employees who may be fasting. Click the link below for 10 tips to do so. We also encourage our community to attend the panel "Ramadan at JCU" on April 21 to learn more!
In their April 12 message, Drs. Johnson and Herbert also ask faculty and supervisors to be attentive to the need for religious accommodations due to the Ramadan fast and/or to the observance of Eid al-Fitr on May 13. If any students or employees require assistance with seeking religious accommodations for any academic or co-curricular university programs, they can reach out to the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at diversity@jcu.edu

To all of our Muslim students, faculty, staff, and community members, we wish you all the blessings of Ramadan. May this month be a time of spiritual growth, surrounded by the love and support of your friends, family, and the JCU community. Ramadan mubarak. 
LAST CHANCE to register for the
April Community Book Read: Being Heumann
cover of book Being Heumann
Today is the last day to register for our April 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! 
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
Dr. Robert Bullard - the Father of Environmental Justice - speaks with John Carroll University about how climate change is the defining global environmental justice, human rights and public health issue of the twenty-first century.

The most vulnerable populations in the United States and around the world will suffer the earliest and most damaging setbacks because of where they live, their limited income and economic means, and their lack of access to health care.

Professor Bullard’s presentation will focus primarily on the U.S. and the need for empowering vulnerable populations, identifying environmental justice and climate change “hot-spot” zones and designing fair, just and effective adaptation, mitigation, emergency management and community resilience and disaster recovery strategies. He will offer a framework for dismantling systemic racism and policies and practices that create, exacerbate and perpetuate inequality and vulnerability.

Contact Salomon Rodezno at srodezno@jcu.edu with questions or accommodation requests.

Other happenings at JCU...
Ramadan at JCU: A Conversation with Faculty and Students
Wed., April 21, 5:00 pm
live, via Zoom
Join Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies, Dr. Zeki Saritoprak, and JCU students Jannat Ali '23, Sara Abu-ukkaz '23 and Abdullah Ali '23 for a panel discussion about their experiences at John Carroll.

Join the panel Wednesday, 4/21 using Zoom ID 942 7263 6436.

For more information contact Kathleen Sardon in the Office of Campus Ministry:

Sponsored by the Nursi Chair in Islamic Studies, Dept. of Theology and Religious Studies, and Campus Ministry.
Prof. Lori Gruen, "The Ethics of Captivity"
Fri., April 16, 3:30-5:00 pm | live, via Zoom
Professor Lori Gruen gives the Annual Don Shula Lecture in Philosophy this year. Professor Gruen is the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan University and is a leading scholar in Animal Studies and Feminist Philosophy. Her work in practical ethics and political philosophy focuses on issues that impact those often overlooked in traditional ethical investigations, e.g. women, people of color, incarcerated people, and non-human animals.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month program: Become Healthy Relationship Certified at JCU
April 15, 21, and 28 - AD 226
image of two blank conversation bubbles
Become Healthy Relationship (HRT) Certified at JCU! It is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so we are providing three healthy relationship programs that will add to your certification:
  • April 15th 7-8PM – Bystander 201
  • April 21st 7-8PM – #RelationshipGoals
  • April 28th 5-6PM – Let’s Stay Friends…or Not
Please register if you are interested in any of these programs OR future programs that count towards a HRT Certification!

JCU Americorps cohort Social Justice webinar series for students
April 8, 13 and 29, 7:00 pm - via Zoom
Students in the JCU AmeriCorps cohort have organized a Social Justice in Action webinar series for the month of April with local speakers on topics of homelessness and housing, sustainability, and racial justice. The final webinar in the series, April 29, features our own Salo Rodezno, Director of the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion. Click on the flyer for more information and Zoom link.
R.I.S.E. Higher: Featured Article of the Week
A Bigger Tent for a New Reality
Younger sorority members are insisting that their organizations be more welcoming to nonbinary people and shift their women-only status and traditions as society becomes more gender-fluid.
By Greta Anderson, Inside Higher Ed, April 9, 2021
Twenty-five national and international sororities, members of the National Panhellenic Conference, or NPC, an umbrella organization that governs the policies and practices of the sororities, are planning to meet Saturday to decide whether to follow Delta Phi Epsilon and vote to approve an amendment permitting the member sororities to change their definitions of “woman,” to ensure nonbinary people are welcome in their organizations.

If passed, the amendment would mark a radical departure from the sororities’ original frameworks and foundations, which are based in womanhood and women’s empowerment. The organizations have hundreds of chapters on college campuses nationwide that are known as women-only groups, with expectations and traditions rooted in stereotypical feminine ideals.
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...
Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis: Virtual Town Hall
Thursday, April 22, 3:00 pm
Promo image for YWCA event on Racism as a Public Health Crisis April 22 2021
The YWCA will host a virtual town hall event next week with a panel of national leaders including, among others, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Dr. Leana S. Wen, and U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, as well as Margaret Mitchell, President and CEO of the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, to discuss the connections between racism and public health outcomes, how to implement public health practices to effectively identify and address racial injustice in our communities, and community engagement and public policy strategies to advance racial equity through a public health lens. 
Cleveland Public Library's Writers & Readers Series presents
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. in conversation with Caroline Randall Williams
on the topic of Civic Education and Engagement
Saturday, April 17 | 12:00 pm | live via Zoom
Promo image for April 17 event
Cleveland Public Library's author series, "Writers & Readers," presents TIME Magazine columnist and MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude, Jr. who wrote Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Our Own and Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, in conversation with award-winning poet, young adult novelist, and cookbook author Caroline Randall Williams. Her work includes The Diary of B.B. Bright, Possible Princess, and Soul Food Love.  

Continue the conversation at a workshop on Wednesday, April 21 at 4:30 p.m. with Marianne Crosley and Rachel Ciomcia of the Cleveland Leadership Center. They will offer tools to help us engage in meaningful change and build an appreciation for civic education as a foundation for life.

Both events are free and open to the public. Registration is required.
Promo image for Balm in Gilead series
A Balm in Gilead: Deepening our Understanding and Conversation about Race through the Eyes of Faith
May 5, 12, and 19 | 7:00-8:15 pm EDT
Danielle Harrison, Co-Director of the Slavery, History, Memory and Reconciliation Project, offers a three part "deep dive" into the topic of Race, Racism, and Faith through the lens of Ignatian spirituality. Sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network, Jesuit Commission on Social and International Ministries, and the Jesuit Committee of Spiritual and Pastoral Ministry.
2021 Migration Justice Summit for Student Organizers
Sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network
June 15-18 | 12:00-5:00 pm daily | Online
Ignatian Solidarity Network logo
This interactive summit will invite participants to connect with fellow students, hear from people impacted by the issues and experts in the field, develop organizing skills, and plan for action during the school year. Each day will include reflection, interactive sessions, policy education, and skill building for organizing. Each university may send up to 10 students.

Registration Deadline: Friday, May 21
Quick takes on the News: DEI in the headlines
photo of small transgender pride flags lining a lawn
NCAA Takes a Stand for Transgender Athletes

The National Collegiate Athletic Association released a statement Monday saying that states with anti-LGBTQ+ laws will not be chosen to host lucrative NCAA championship events. The statement reiterates a NCAA policy created nearly five years ago, bringing the economic influence of the NCAA to bear on these discriminatory laws. The statement comes on the heels of the recent passage of multiple laws that bar transgender women and girls from competing against cisgender women and girls in K-12 and intercollegiate sports. 
Faculty Ideological Diversity Bill Passes in Florida

The Florida Legislature passed a bill calling for a survey of the political beliefs of public college and university professors in that state, according to Florida Politics. The bill, which still needs to be signed into law by Republican governor Ron DeSantis, would require the State Board of Education to ask professors annually about their political beliefs to "assess the status of intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity." 
Advocates Ask NCAA for Independent Review of Racial Inequities

College sports reform advocates sent a letter to National Collegiate Athletic Association president Mark Emmert Wednesday urging the association to hire an independent group to review racial inequities in intercollegiate athletics and particularly in revenue-generating Division I football and men’s basketball programs. The letter, signed by 17 academics and leaders of athlete advocacy organizations, pointed out wide diversity gaps between athletes who play Division I football and men’s basketball, a majority of whom are Black, and athletic directors and coaches, who tend to be white.