Conference on Justice and Social Concerns

The Conference on Justice and Social Concerns provides our campus community with the opportunity to engage with issues of social justice, faith, and personal and communal responsibility to the common good.

Conference on Justice and Social Concerns

Stay tuned for information on upcoming events.

The 2021 Conference on Justice and Social Concerns, sponsored by the St. Mary’s University Center for Catholic Studies, is inspired by Fratelli Tutti: Encyclical Letter on Fraternity and Social Friendship by Pope Francis. Pope Francis’ third encyclical is centered on the major themes of service, charity, economic justice and political love, and is framed by his close friendship and experiences with the Grand Imam Ahmad al-Tayyeb of the Islamic university and mosque Al-Azhar in Egypt.

Day 1

Human Dignity, inspired by Fratelli Tutti, Chapter 2: “A Stranger on the Road” 

Monday’s panels will focus on the hidden faces of sex trafficking and prison inmates, reminding us that recognition of the intrinsic worth of every human being is always owed. 

Welcome and Overview
Alicia Cordoba Tait, D.M.A., Beirne Director of the Center for Catholic Studies and Professor of Music, St. Mary’s University 

Invocation
Rev. Tim Eden, S.M., Vice President for Mission and Rector, St. Mary’s University 

I. Introduction
James Greenaway, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Philosophy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Charles H. Miller Sr., M.D., Chair in Human Dignity, St. Mary’s University

II. Human Trafficking
Interview with Karla Scott Solomon, Survivor Advocate and Outreach Specialist and victim and survivor of sex trafficking
Presentation by Brenya Twumasi, J.D., Professor, University of Texas – San Antonio and Alamo Colleges, on forms of international trafficking 

III. A Conversation on Prison Outreach
with Deacon Robert “Bob” Leibrecht, Director of Criminal Justice, Archdiocese of San Antonio; Justin Miller and Cody Brown, participants of Criminal Justice Ministry; and James Greenaway, Ph.D.


Day 2

Economic Justice, inspired by Fratelli Tutti, Chapter 5: “A Better Kind of Politics”

Tuesday’s sessions will reflect upon the work of Latino activists promoting economic justice in their communities since the 1960s.

I. Perspectives on Latino Economic Justice
with Lindsey Passenger Wieck, Ph.D., Director of the Public History Graduate Program and Assistant Professor of History, St. Mary’s University; Gerald E. Poyo, Ph.D.; and Noel Andrés Poyo, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Community Development, U.S. Department of the Treasury

II. Documenting Latino Economic Development as a Social Justice Practice
with Lindsey Passenger Wieck, Ph.D.; Monica Limón, Special Assistant to the Executive Director, NALCAB; Victoria Villaseñor, NALCAB Graduate Fellow and Public History graduate student at St. Mary’s University; and Gerald E. Poyo, Ph.D.


Day 3

Hunger Awareness, inspired by Fratelli Tutti, Chapter 1: “Dark Clouds Over a Closed World,” Chapter 6: “Dialogue and Friendship in Society,” Chapter 7: “Paths of Renewed Encounter,” and Chapter 8: “Religions at the Service of Fraternity in our World”

The presentation will emphasize the state of food insecurity on three Marianist campuses framed by three questions regarding hunger and food insecurity before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, formal and informal support for food-insecure students, and why hunger awareness is important to our communities.

Facilitated by Janet Armitage, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Sociology and Associate Professor of Sociology, St. Mary’s University

I. Introduction
by the Rev. Anthony “Tony” Pogorelc, M.Div., Ph.D., Sociology Scholar in Residence, St. Mary’s University

II. Student Stories
with speakers Sue Nash, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology, St. Mary’s University; Jeanne Holcomb, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology and Interim Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at the University of Dayton; Diana Cuy Castellanos, Ph.D., RD, LD, Assistant Professor and Research Coordinator in Dietetics and Nutrition, University of Dayton; Lorin Ramocki, DNP, RN, Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator and Academic Partnership Coordinator, the School of Nursing and Health Professions, Chaminade University; and Allison Jerome, Dean of Students, Chaminade University; Brother Edward Brink, S.M., Vice President for Mission and Rector, Chaminade University

III. Closing Marianist Prayer and Final Thoughts
with Brother Thomas “Tom” Giardino, S.M., Executive Director,  Association of Marianist Universities

Lin Great Speakers Lecture
A Conversation on Race, Equality and Equity

The livestreamed lecture will provide insight into the concepts of race, equality and equity. Panelists will discuss systemic barriers impacting underrepresented groups and strategies on how to overcome these challenges and how Catholic universities can reflect anti-racist institutions. Panelists include Jonathan Butler, Esq., Equity Manager, the City of San Antonio; Christopher Whitt, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion,  Creighton University; Tiffany Galvin Green, Ph.D., Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, John Caroll University.


Day 4

Diversity of Voices, inspired by Fratelli Tutti, Chapter 6: “Dialogue and Friendship in Society”

Thursday will feature two panels focused on issues of race and racism. One will focus on events specific to San Antonio and the surrounding region. The other will discuss the general natures of race and racism, with experts whose research focuses on the ways in which active forms of ignorance and indifference contribute to maintaining systems of racism. Members of both panels will address what higher education institutions can do moving forward.

Facilitated by Eric Chelstrom, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy, St. Mary’s University, and Benjamin “Josh” Doty, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English, Literature and Language, St. Mary’s University

I. Issues of Race and Racism in San Antonio and the Surrounding Region
with Deborah Omowale Jarmon, Executive Director, the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum; Sarah Zenaida Gould, Ph.D., Interim Executive Director, Mexican American Civil Rights Institute; Margaret Cantú-Sanchez, Ph.D., Instructor of English, St. Mary’s University; Rick Sperling; Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology and Coordinator of Latin American/U.S. Latino Studies Program, St. Mary’s University

II. General Natures of Race and Racism
with Gisela Reyes, St. Mary’s University alumna and Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University; José Medina, Ph.D., Walter Dill Scott Professor of Philosophy, Northwestern University; Charles Mills, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center, CUNY


Day 5

Social Action, inspired by Fratelli Tutti and Marianist social justice and charity

The final day of the Conference will look at various ways in which the Marianist Charism, with its focus on social justice, promotes the ideals as laid out in Fratelli Tutti, particularly through the work of the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative (MSJC).

I. Introduction

Facilitated by Larry Hufford, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science and International Relations, St. Mary’s University

II. Panelists

III. Benediction
Rev. William Meyer, S.M., Assistant Vice President for Mission, St. Mary’s University

2020 Conference
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