Volume 2, Issue 12: November 19, 2020
R.I.S.E.* Up Newsletter
*Reinforcing Inclusion through Skill-building and Education
Images of 6 African American Catholics with open sainthood causes
From the Desk of the Vice President for Diversity Equity and Inclusion - with photo of Tiffany Galvin Green
Heritage, Holidays
and Hard Conversations.

Did you know that November is Black Catholic History Month? Black Catholics make up 4% of the Catholic population of the United States, and comprise fully 1/4 of the entire Catholic Church worldwide. Of Roman Catholic parishes in the United States, 798 are considered to be predominantly African American, including several thriving parishes in Cleveland (such as the parish of St. Agnes-Our Lady of Fatima, a long-term community partner of JCU's). In addition, the U.S. Catholic Church will receive its first African-American cardinal later this month, when Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C. will be named to the College of Cardinals.

Black Catholic History Month in the U.S. is an opportunity to learn about and honor the rich and complex history of Black Catholics in this country, whose presence in -- and impact on -- this continent dates back to the 15th century.

On Monday, November 30 we are delighted to welcome Mr. Cary Dabney, M.Div., Director of the Office of Ministry to African-American Catholics, who will offer a virtual program for the JCU community entitled "The Black Catholic Experience, Yesterday and Today." More details below. Please join us!

Of course, November is full of other events, as well. In particular, next week, we will celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday with its own painful racist history, which is getting a deeper look this year in particular, and can lead some to wonder, "should we rethink Thanksgiving altogether"?

Some may already be anticipating the challenging conversations they may encounter with their loved ones over the meal (or, this year, in the family Zoom room). In a polarizing election year, a year where issues of racial justice, health care access, and disproportionate harm have become unavoidable, topics of equity and justice may also be unavoidable in this year's family conversations. And I urge you not to avoid them.

Studies show over and over again that relationships of mutual care and respect are the best measure of whether a conversation across ideological lines is likely to be productive, and we know that productive conversations on these issues are badly needed. So do engage your difficult uncle's racism or your grandmother's homophobia -- but don't go in without a strategy.  

I encourage you to join me for an afternoon "mini-webinar" this coming Monday, where I will share some tips for how you can make this year's family holiday conversations meaningful, civil, loving, justice-oriented and productive.  You can learn more and register below.


Tiffany Galvin Green, Ph.D.,
Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Division Announcements
Mini-Webinar: Difficult Conversations at the Holiday Table
November 23, 2:00-2:45 pm
Wondering how to engage in meaningful, civil dialogue about issues of equity and justice with that difficult family member over the Thanksgiving table (or, more likely, in the family Zoom call)? Do you want to speak up, but afraid the only way to keep the peace is by staying silent?

Join us for a brief "mini-webinar" this Monday, November 23 facilitated by Dr. Tiffany Galvin Green, Vice President for DEI. Dr. Green will share strategies, resources, tips and tricks for how to make this year's family holiday conversations meaningful, civil and productive. Open to students, faculty and staff.
headshot of Cary Dabney
Cary Dabney, M. Div.
Director of the Office of Ministry to African-American Catholics, Diocese of Cleveland
The Black Catholic Experience,
Yesterday and Today:
A Conversation with Cary Dabney
Monday, November 30, 7-8 pm - via Zoom
In honor of Black Catholic History Month, the JCU Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Office of University Mission & Identity will host a virtual lecture and conversation on Nov. 30 with the Cleveland Diocese's Cary Dabney.

Mr. Dabney will discuss the Black Catholic experience in Cleveland and across the U.S., particularly in the current historical moment.

All are welcome; registration required.
CSDI Fall Hangouts
The Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion will host a series of fall community hangouts each week on Zoom. The next hangout will be tomorrow, Friday, November 20 at 11:30 am. Grab a snack and drink and come say hello!
Passcode: 992027

The same link and passcode will work for each weekly hangout. All are welcome and no RSVP is necessary. Come join the hangout and check in with your community! For more information, visit CSDI on Instagram.
3rd Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance at JCU
November 20, 5:00 pm
Transgender Day of Remembrance is recognized annually on November 20th to honor the memory of those murdered in acts of anti-transgender hate.

Join us for a reading of names, poetry, and quiet prayer.

For more information about Transgender Day of Remembrance internationally, visit www.tdor.info.
Image for JCU commemoration of Transgender Day of Remembrance Nov 20
Zoom Meeting ID: 922 1344 3019
Passcode: 992027 
Gender Inclusive Restrooms on Campus
A gender-inclusive restroom is a facility open to people of all genders and an important concrete way to show a full welcome and inclusion to gender-diverse individuals. Gender-inclusive restrooms are often single stall facilities that are physically accessible (ADA compliant). 

In 2015, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion compiled a complete list of restrooms with the help of Facilities and Auxiliary Services. You can review the list and location of these facilities here. The project was in response to requests by high school applicants, current students, parents, and alums. 

24 gender-inclusive restrooms are located across non-residential campus buildings and 11 are located in residence halls. 
Gender-neutral restroom sign

The DEI Division's spotlight of JCU's 35 gender-inclusive restrooms across campus is in recognition of Trans Awareness Week from November 13- 20, 2020. We strongly believe every person is born with dignity and humanity, and that includes their gender identity and expression. We practice that belief by creating welcoming and inclusive spaces, even in restroom awareness and access.
SAS Report - Conquering Distance Learning Fatigue
At the end of last month, Student Accessibility Services collaborated with JCU Academic Success Center on the student zoom event in their Student Success Series: "Conquering Distance Learning Fatigue."

The presentation emphasized the importance of taking breaks, seeking additional help when needed, and taking time to care for yourself mentally and physically.

The event presentation defined zoom fatigue and provided several methods to help, including:
  • taking breaks
  • scheduling your day
  • digital detox
  • not working from bed, and
  • changing study location.

The students and staff members practiced in two example methods to combat zoom fatigue.
image of someone working at a computer in the dark
[image credit: Oğuzhan Akdoğan on Unsplash]

The first method was chair yoga to promote better breathing techniques, moving around, and mindfulness. The second was a three-minute office workout to promote body movement, heart rate, and better focus.

The event was recorded and is a great resource for SAS students looking to combat Zoom fatigue. Contact [email protected] for more details.
Take the November Native Voices Challenge!
photo of a modern woven blanket made by Native artist Ramona Sakiestewa
What is the last book you read by a Native American author? How many Indigenous writers, leaders, politicians, or artists can you name?

During this Native American Heritage Month we are calling on all members of the JCU community to notice where Native voices and perspectives are missing from our own awareness and disciplines.

From the list below, commit to taking at least three actions during the month of November. We will follow up periodically throughout the month to hear what you are learning!
Action Ideas for the Native Voices Challenge:

  1. Read a book by a Native American author.
  2. Watch a film by a Native American filmmaker.
  3. Find and follow at least 5 Native social media influencers.
  4. Read up on the disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Native American communities.
  5. Find and read an article by a Native American scholar in your academic discipline.
  6. If you are faculty, identify a Native author or scholar whose writing you can incorporate into a course syllabus for spring semester.
  7. Commit to making use of some of the resources for considering Thanksgiving from a Native point of view in the Racial Justice Guide to Thanksgiving for Educators and Families.
Thanksgiving Week office hours
Please note that our division offices will be closed for all or part of the Thanksgiving holiday week.

The Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion and Student Accessibility Services will be closed Monday-Friday, November 23-27.

The Title IX Office and the Office of the VP for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will be open on Monday, Nov. 23 and closed Tuesday-Friday, November 24-27.

All offices will re-open on Monday, November 30.

Wishing you and yours a healthy and safe Thanksgiving holiday week.
Other happenings at JCU...
Best Buddies Voices of Inclusion program
Friday, November 20, 3-4 pm
Best Buddies International logo
The new JCU student organization "Best Buddies" invites all members of the JCU campus to participate this Friday in a program with the Best Buddies International speaker series "Voices of Inclusion." The speaker series addresses topics ranging from social justice and current events to inclusion, leadership, and advocacy.

Best Buddies will also sponsor a virtual Friendsgiving on Monday, November 23. For more information email [email protected].

Best Buddies is an organization dedicated to forming friendships between John Carroll University college students, and local community members with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
New Organization for Boler Students of Color
meets Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 5 pm
Image of wall mural in the Boler School of Business
The new student organization for Boler Students of Color will meet the Wednesday after Thanksgiving Break at 5:00pm.

This organization is for all Boler students (undergraduate and graduate) who identify as persons of color, including Black/African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native American, and Bi/Multi-racial. This is a place for sharing experiences, finding support, and learning together.

Zoom Meeting ID: 991 3087 6195
Passcode: 851295
Movie Night with ACS Student Affiliates
Friday, November 20th, 8 pm
promo image for the film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The American Chemical Society Student Affiliates will sponsor a movie screening of the film The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on Friday, November 20th at 8 PM followed by a discussion.

The film tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, whose cells—taken without her knowledge or consent—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The film explores the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the sticky questions of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Questions? Please e-mail Ayse at [email protected]
R.I.S.E. Higher: Featured Article of the Week
Hate Crimes in U.S. Rose to Highest Level
in More Than a Decade in 2019
An F.B.I. report on hate crimes also found that more murders motivated by hate were recorded in 2019 than in any year before.
Tim Arango, The New York Times, November 16, 2020

Hate crimes in the United States rose to their highest level in more than a decade last year, while more murders motivated by hate were recorded than ever before, the F.B.I. said on Monday.

... Experts say the F.B.I. data likely undercounts the number of hate crimes in America, both because many victims fail to report incidents and local agencies are not required to report hate crime data to the F.B.I.

“It’s important to note that, because of the nature of hate crime reporting, the F.B.I.’s annual report vastly understates the real level of hate crimes in the country,” the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, said on Monday.

.... (click below to read more)