The President’s Council on Diversity Equity and Inclusion at St. Mary’s University

In June 2020, President Tom Mengler announced the formation of a President’s Council on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to advance St. Mary’s University’s efforts to become and stand firmly as an anti-racist university.

Professor of Law André Hampton, J.D., serves as chair of the Council and Sheri King, Ph.D., Director of Student Life, as vice chair. Hampton and King are leading the Council in dialogue on the issue of racial justice in our community and our responsibilities, as an essential element of the St. Mary’s mission, to act for the common good.

The Council is charged with making specific recommendations for initiatives that could be acted upon by our community as early as this semester and would enhance the University’s dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion. This committee is charged with focusing the University’s work on topics including, but not limited to, implicit bias awareness, hiring, curriculum and co-curricular programming, faculty and staff training and development programming, community engagement and campus communications and marketing.

Living in My Skin: A public art exhibit and documentary

A few of the portraits from Living in My Skin.

Living in My Skin is a project that includes a public art exhibit featuring 33 oil-on-linen portraits by St. Mary’s University alumnus Lionel Sosa, as well as a two-part documentary that tells the story of those portrayed. St. Mary’s alumna Jennifer Speed, Ph.D., contributed research for one of those in the documentary, 19th century African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

The project intends to shine a light on today’s reality of what it’s like to be a Black man or boy in San Antonio and to help bring about a better understanding of each other as a community. Living in My Skin features Sosa’s portraits of Black men ages 10 to 90, as well as a two-part film documentary which premiered on PBS station KLRN in February 2021 during Black History Month. The series can be streamed at the KLRN streaming site. Full episodes available online at KLRN. For more information on the documentary and it’s exhibits, visit the Living in My Skin website.

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