Volume 3, Issue 11: March 18, 2021
R.I.S.E.* Up Newsletter
*Reinforcing Inclusion through Skill-building and Education
Photo of Amanda Nguyen with poem - Faces that could be mine - Where is the silver lining - Is it coming - that promised light - Or is this a futile fight - But even if you can't see the end of the tunnel
- In darkness carry on...
This week has brought us yet another unspeakable tragedy that weighs heavily on our hearts and spirits today. As a JCU community, we join people around the nation in expressing our horror at the news of a mass shooting at three spas in Atlanta on Tuesday that killed eight people. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent, which has sparked many discussions of whether this is yet another incident in the surge of hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in the U.S. over the past year that has risen to more than 3,800 reported incidents. 

News reports say that the gunman’s self-stated motive was not clearly ‘racially inspired,’ as he professed a desire “to rid the world of sexual temptation.” Yet we cannot take this statement at face value, because motives for violence generally are not quite that straightforward. The intersections of racist, misogynist and sexualized violence are frequently hard to unravel, yet they are clearly represented in this heinous incident. Long before this week’s events threw Atlanta’s massage parlors into the news, many have discussed the pernicious and widespread fetishization of Asian women in our culture. As Bianca Jyotishi, Georgia organizing manager for the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, put it in a Slate interview yesterday: “A lot of our community members have been exoticized and made to be sexual objects, rather than just being seen as human beings.” Commentator Janice Gassam Asare points out that the explicit sexualization of a person’s race, ethnicity, or color operates to objectify and dehumanize them, and therefore “continues the racism we are attempting to eradicate.”  

In the end, it is hard to separate a person’s motive for such violence from the ease with which the violence is committed. Just as in other horrific shootings or killings of others in marginalized racial, gender, religious, and other groups, the questions we must ask ourselves are, “Why is it so easy for someone to take these particular lives? Why is it so easy to dismiss the humanity of these individuals?” This is the reason why intersectionalities are important to understand. Nothing is ever straightforward in the complicated web of dehumanization that accompanies racism, sexism, and gender-based violence. 

Regardless of the motives, the tragedy and horror of yet another act of mass violence cannot be ignored. Neither can the fear and agony of a community that has experienced so many targeted racist incidents in recent months. This coming Sunday, March 21, we mark the United Nations International Day to End Racial Discrimination. I invite you to join me in marking the day by taking some concrete action to defeat anti-AAPI racism in our community. You can find many opportunities for actions you can do today at stopAAPIhate.org

All of us in the JCU community, those of us who hold AAPI identities as well as those of us who do not, are committed to working more intentionally to ensure that we are doing our part to eradicate bias and discrimination of all kinds, especially towards those who have experienced an additional layer of injustice and mistreatment during the pandemic. If one part of our community is affected, we all are. That’s what true equity and inclusion is about, at its core.
Headshot of Tiffany Galvin Green

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

P.s. Our feature quotation today is a poem written by activist and social entrepreneur Amanda Nguyen in response to Tuesday’s shootings. Among many other awards and honors, Nguyen was named to the Forbes’ “30 under 30” list in 2017. We are pleased to have another Forbes “30 under 30” changemaker joining us for a virtual conversation TONIGHT: disability advocate and marketing professional Bryan Stromer. Please join us. 
Division Announcements
TONIGHT: Writing Your Own Story, Following Your Path:
A Conversation with Bryan Stromer
Thursday, March 18, 5:30-7:00 pm EST
We are delighted to welcome Bryan Stromer to JCU for a (virtual) conversation about the value of bringing one's whole self to whatever work one does, recognizing the value and power of intersectionality to encourage broader perspectives and social transformation.

Born with Cerebral Palsy, Bryan Stromer is a passionate advocate for the disability community. He serves as a Product Marketing Manager at Microsoft, where he founded and co-leads Microsoft's Disability in Marketing group. Last year he was named to the Forbes "30 under 30" list.

This program is being sponsored by the offices of the DEI Division: the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Office of Student Accessibility Services, and the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, with support from the Inclusive Excellence Committee of the Boler College of Business.

Introducing our new Title IX Coordinator: Dan Fotoples
Headshot of Dan Fotoples
We are pleased to introduce the newest member of the DEI Division staff:
Dan Fotoples, J.D., M.A. (he/him/his) joins our staff today as our new Title IX Coordinator.

Dan Fotoples (pronounced “Fot-OP-o-less”) is returning to JCU after a brief time away from us. He formerly spent 3 years as an Area Coordinator in the Office of Residence Life. A 2010 graduate of JCU, Dan earned a law degree from Notre Dame Law School and a Master's in Higher Education from Michigan State University.

Dan's office is in the DEI Division Suite in the Administration Building (AD 128), so please feel free to drop by and say hello, give him a call at (216) 397-1559, or email him at dfotoples@jcu.edu.
Reyna Grande, Author of The Distance Between Us
March 23, 7:00-8:00 pm
Image of Reyna Grande with book cover of the book The Distance Between Us
Acclaimed author Reyna Grande will speak to the John Carroll University community on Tuesday, March 23, 2021, from 7-8 p.m.

Grande will discuss her bestselling memoir, The Distance Between Us, (Atria, 2012) in which she writes about her life before and after she arrived in the United States from Mexico as an undocumented child immigrant.

She has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award. Grande's work has appeared in The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News, CNN, The Lily at The Washington Post, and Buzzfeed, among others. In March 2020, she was a special guest on Oprah’s Book Club.

This program is sponsored by the Arrupe Program with support from the Office of University Mission and Identity, Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, and the Program in Peace, Justice and Human Rights.

This webinar is free and open to John Carroll students, faculty, and staff, but registration is required.
Other happenings at JCU...
Promotional image for Signs and Wonders program with image of a Seder plate
image of Dr Noah Bickart
The Alumni Continuing Education Series presents:
Signs & Wonders: The Shared Story of Passover and Easter
Tuesday, March 23, 7-8 pm
Join Dr. Noah Bickart, visiting assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies, for an online exploration of the origins of the Passover celebration. Learn about the religious world of the first century, and how Jews and Christians today look back on their shared history. This webinar is free and open to the public.
JCU attends the 21st Annual IRTF Social Justice Teach-In
Saturday, March 27,
10:30am-4pm - online
IRTF logo
Join JCU students, faculty and staff in attending Memoria y Resistencia: Reflections on Self-Identity and Communal Legacy, the 21st annual (and first virtual) IRTF Social Justice Teach-In, featuring keynote speaker Dr. Shemariah Arki, founder and program director for the Ellipsis Institute for Women of Color in the Academy.

This event is presented by the Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America, in conjunction with the CWRU Social Justice Institute, the Ellipsis Institute for Women of Color in the Academy, and Sankofa Circle International. Read more about the event here.
R.I.S.E. Higher: Featured Article of the Week
The Jesuits Pledge $100 Million
to Atone for Slave Labor and Sales
The move by Jesuit priests is the largest such effort by the Roman Catholic Church and comes amid growing calls for reparations across the United States.
The New York Times, March 15,2021
In one of the largest efforts by an institution to atone for slavery, a prominent order of Catholic priests has vowed to raise $100 million to benefit the descendants of the enslaved people it once owned and to promote racial reconciliation initiatives across the United States.

The move by the leaders of the Jesuit conference of priests represents the largest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to make amends for the buying, selling and enslavement of Black people, church officials and historians said.

The pledge comes at a time when calls for reparations are ringing through Congress, college campuses, church basements and town halls, as leaders grapple with the painful legacies of segregation and the nation’s system of involuntary servitude.

“This is an opportunity for Jesuits to begin a very serious process of truth and reconciliation,” said the Rev. Timothy P. Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. “Our shameful history of Jesuit slaveholding in the United States has been taken off the dusty shelf, and it can never be put back.”
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
Jesuit Colleges and Universities Condemn Acts of Hatred against Asian Communities in the U.S. See the list of statements on the Ignatian Solidarity Network page.

The Loyola Marymount School of Education Alumni Association (SOEAA) will host a half-day virtual "mini conference" for educators on Saturday, March 20, 2021, entitled "A COVID Year Later: A Dialogue about Social-Emotional Health, Anti-Racism, and Equity for Students, Educators, and Leaders"
The Ignatian Solidarity Network presents:
"Solidarity on Tap" with Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, Ph.D.
Wednesday, March 24, 9:00 pm ET
Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi
The Ignatian Solidarity Network will host educator and DEI thought leader Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, Ph.D. for its next "Solidarity on Tap" program. Dr. Wardell has served as the inaugural vice provost and chief diversity officer (CDO) of (sister Jesuit school) the University of San Francisco since 2011 and is a leadership and organizational change professor in the USF School of Education and School of Management. Stream the program live at this link.