Volume 2, Issue 8: October 22, 2020
R.I.S.E.* Up Newsletter
*Reinforcing Inclusion through Skill-building and Education
Photo of Isabel Wilkerson with quote - Ignorance is no protection from the consequences of inaction. Whatever you are wishing away will gnaw at you until you gather the courage to face what you would rather not see.
The Terrible Consequences of Inaction

This week, we finished our DEI book club reading of Isabel Wilkerson's book Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents. In this book, described by the New York Times Book Review as "an instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far," Wilkerson presents the argument that many of the worst outcomes of the American civilizational project can be traced to the toxic impacts of our long-standing, rigid system of caste.

One of the most compelling parts of the book, in our opinion, is the author's careful marshaling of evidence to show how ordinary people, through their everyday actions, uphold and strengthen the caste system.

“It is... tempting to vilify a single despot at the sight of injustice," she writes, "when, in fact, it is the actions, or more commonly inactions, of ordinary people that keep the mechanism of caste running, the people who shrug their shoulders at the latest police killing, the people who laugh off the coded put-downs of marginalized people shared at the dinner table and say nothing for fear of alienating an otherwise beloved uncle. The people who are willing to pay higher property taxes for their own children’s schools but who balk at taxes to educate the children society devalues. Or the people who sit in silence as a marginalized person, whether of color or a woman, is interrupted in a meeting, her ideas dismissed (though perhaps later adopted), for fear of losing caste, each of these keeping intact the whole system that holds everyone in its grip.”

As we close out our month of reading, we do so with these words echoing in our minds. In what "ordinary" ways are each of us still helping to uphold the caste system in our country? What action can we commit to today that will help us question and dismantle this system, to embrace a world in which all people's human dignity is respected equally?
Division Announcements
A note from CSDI Director Salo Rodezno:
Head shot of Salo Rodezno
I am happy to announce that CSDI is a recipient of The Cleveland Foundation's Fenn Educational Grant this year.

Our 2-year $89,000 grant will support a new initiative called WAYFINDERS, which is aimed to improve the professional readiness of historically underrepresented students seeking micro-internships, employment and/or graduate education. The target populations for this grant are: first-generation students, students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds, students with disabilities, students of color, and students who identify as LGBTQ+. WAYFINDERS plans to connect students to opportunities that complement classroom learning with hands-on, real world experience. This grant will fund the launching of a micro-internship incubator and professional workshops.
Head shot of Selen Zarrelli
I am also very proud to share that Selen Zarrelli will serve as Program Coordinator for WAYFINDERS. Selen's role started Monday, October 19, 2020. Please help me in congratulating CSDI and Selen!
Caste e-book giveaway
Image - book cover of Caste - The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
If you missed our October book read of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents but our reflection above makes you want to read the book, now is your moment.

Complete our brief survey at the link below to be entered in our raffle to win your own Kindle version of this powerful new book about America's caste system, from the award-winning author of The Warmth of Other Suns.
This week is the deadline to register for our November
Community Book Read!
Cover image - Braiding Sweetgrass
For November 2020, in honor of Native American Heritage Month, we are pleased to announce our community book read: Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass.

In this, her newest book, Kimmerer, a botanist in the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, combines her expertise in botanical sciences with traditional knowledge about plants gained through her cultural heritage. You can read more about Kimmerer in this interview published earlier this year.

This book read is open to ALL faculty, staff and students. Registrants will receive their own copy of the Kindle ebook to keep. Registration deadline has been extended to Friday, October 23. Spaces are limited.
Altars in the Mexican Tradition of the Day of the Dead
A conversation on the origins and current meaning of setting up an altar for the Day of the Dead. Personal, artistic, and public altars will be explored and discussed.
Featuring a live demonstration and musical performance.

This event is organized by the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, Mexicanos en Cleveland, and the generous support of the Hispanic FilmMakers of Cleveland.

Date: Sunday, October 25, 2020
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Private Zoom link with registration

This event is organized by the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, Mexicanos en Cleveland, and the generous support of the Hispanic Film Makers of Cleveland.
traditional Day of the Dead altar
A traditional Day of the Dead ofrenda from the Ciénega community, Hidalgo, Mexico.
Image credit: Nikitablam on Wikimedia Commons.
Navigating Microaggressions in the Workplace
What actions can you take when you witness microaggressions in the classroom or the workplace? Join members of the CSDI staff to learn strategies to recognize and intervene when microaggressions occur.

Thursday, October 29, 2020 @ 2pm
No registration required!

Meeting ID: 947 2329 0101 Passcode: 989615
Tips for Students with Disabilities:
Report-back from the Student Accessibility Services student panel
Earlier this month Student Accessibility Services hosted a virtual panel for students registered with SAS, with returning students available to answer questions and share their advice for students who are newly registered.

The panel covered topics including academic resources at John Carroll, communicating with professors, study skills, and self-care. Panelists provided thoughtful advice, taking virtual learning into consideration.

Here are a few of the tips suggested by student panelists:

  • Email professors before an exam to make sure all accommodations are in place prior to opening an online exam
  • Have a designated study spot is a good way to increase productivity while taking classes from home.
  • Seek out additional help when needed
  • Utilizing the many resources available at JCU
  • Take time to care for yourself both mentally and physically. 

For more information about resources available through Student Accessibility Services, visit www.jcu.edu/accessibility.
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 Friday, October 30th at 5:00 pm. 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.
Flyer for Weekly Community HangOuts
Promo image for Spooky Halloween program
CSDI's 3rd Annual
"Spooky Halloween"
Ready for a spooky evening?! Join staff and guests in the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion for a Zoom gathering to share frightful stories on the eve of Halloween!

Wearing a costume and/or mask is highly encouraged.

Friday, October 30th, 5:00 pm
November 3 General Election:
What is your voting plan?
For more information about student get-out-the-vote efforts, visit the Instagram page of

Not sure how or where to vote? Reach out to Campus Election Engagement Project Fellow

Blue Streaks - vote as though your community depends on it - November 3 2020
Save the Date: LGBT 101
Save the date for the first in our 2020-2021 Virtual Safe Zone Series of workshops on LGBTQIA+ awareness and inclusion.

Our first LGBT 101 workshop will be held at 3:00 pm on Monday, November 16 on Zoom.

Registration coming soon!
Other JCU events of interest:
Promo image for Movie Trivia Night
Staff of Color ERG
Movie Trivia Night
The Staff of Color Employee Resource Group will host a virtual Movie Trivia Night on Wednesday, November 4 at 6:00 pm via Zoom.

Door prizes, fun trivia, and fun with colleagues!

Contact Angela O'Stricker to register.
Faculty notes:
Spotted in the most recent edition of the Boler College of Business "Inspired Business" newsletter: Dr. Joanna Garcia offers a few tips for fellow accountants in "How Accountancy Can Do Better on Diversity."
Headshot of Dr Joanna Garcia
R.I.S.E. Higher: Featured Article of the Week
The Pandemic and Racial Turmoil Are Changing Curricula.
Here’s How.
By Alexander C. Kafka
Chronicle of Higher Education, October 19, 2020

Colleges are wrestling with the financial havoc and technological logistics of a hellish year. But 2020’s Covid-19 pandemic and increased racial strife are also prompting revisions in college curricula. The nation is traumatized, and the content of academic programs, not just how they are delivered, must reflect that reality, said college leaders, students, faculty members, and higher-education experts ...

.... (click below to read more)
Announcements from our network:
Oct 19-26: Prophetic Resilience: Breaking Down, Building Up

There is still time to register for this year's Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice, which kicked off this week with a series of on-demand pre-session programs and will continue into the weekend with presentations and workshops by national speakers including Bishop Mark Seitz, Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ; Sr. Simone Campbell, S.S.S.; Fr. James Martin, S.J.; Olga Segura; Sr. Helen Prejean, CSJ, and many more (even some of us!).
Promo image for Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice - October 19-26 2020
Ohio Women’s Virtual Town Hall

Oct 27, 2020, 12:00 pm
Guest speakers, experts in the field, and YWCA will explore the Ohio initiatives to declare racism a public health crisis and the racial justice issues that matter most to the women of Ohio. Convened by YWCA USA and the YWCAs of Ohio.
JVC Community Conversations promo image
Jesuit Volunteer Corps Community Conversations: Housing and Anti-Blackness

At the start of COVID-19, the shelter-in-place restrictions told people to stay at home. What did people do if they didn’t have a home to return to in the first place? And how are millennials suddenly able to afford to buy homes at the same time unemployment rates rise? What might be some of the long-term social justice implications of shifting communities? 

Join the Jesuit Volunteer Corps on Tuesday, October 27th at 7:00 pm for a conversation about the current state of the housing crisis, facilitated by former Jesuit Volunteer and Agency Partner Supervisor, Kharisma Goldston, Director of Shelter at the Bethesda Project in Philadelphia.