Join Us for the Inaugural Collaborative Shared Read of Black Domers

by Susan Krenn '04

“Has progress been made? Surely it has. Is there much left to be done? Surely there is.”  - Ann Claire Williams ‘75 Law

Editors Don Wycliffe '69 and David Krashna '71 with Fr. Ted

As our nation faces urgent calls for racial justice, many members of the Notre Dame family are seeking opportunities for meaningful conversations about equity. We are all hopeful that an honest dialogue can advance understanding and become a foundation for action.

It is in that spirit that the Notre Dame Alumni Association Affinity Groups are pleased to present a collaborative shared reading experience sponsored by the Diversity Council, ND Women Connect, Senior Alumni, YoungND, Asian Pacific Alumni of ND, Black Alumni of ND, Hispanic Alumni of ND, and Native American Alumni of ND.

All alumni, parents, and friends of Notre Dame are invited to join the affinity groups in unpacking Black Domers: African-American Students at Notre Dame in Their Own Words, edited by Don Wycliff ’69 and David Krashna ’71, with a foreword by the late Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., ’39. Black Domers features 75 essays and profiles from Notre Dame alumni sharing their reflections and experiences across more than seven decades. (Continue reading for details regarding how to secure a copy of the book.) This collection of stories will be used as an important tool to spark dialogue and learning among members of the Notre Dame community. 

Follow along with the discussion on the NDWC Facebook page

Virtual Conversation via Facebook

A virtual conversation is underway via the NDWC Shared Read Facebook group, with discussion leaders representing all eight of the ND Alumni Association Affinity Groups. The discussion will continue through November 22, and all are encouraged to follow along and post questions and comments on the group page. Each week will focus on designated decades (see below) and readers can join the full discussion or participate in the weeks that interest them most. Unlike Facebook live events, you're welcome to click into the group anytime and comment on older posts, even if it's a few days (or weeks) later.

Local Discussions with ND Clubs/Groups

In addition to the online conversation, some ND Clubs and Affinity Groups will be organizing live, in-person discussions, where safely possible. Many may offer virtual options to connect. Scheduled meet-ups will also be posted on the Shared Read Facebook group. A discussion guide is available to any interested individuals and groups and can be downloaded here. It is PACKED full of questions to spark conversation, best practices for running a discussion group, recommended resources, and more.

Black Domers Series on ThinkND

Video interviews with the book's editors and essayists will be available to alumni, parents and friends this fall on ThinkND, alongside other content about the historical and cultural context of the book's decades; for example, presentations from With Voices True, an archive of personal narratives on race. Those interested can register here for more information and updates.

We hope you’ll join us for this collaborative opportunity to foster dialogue, increase awareness and understanding, and reflect on ways to move forward, both individually and collectively. 

“Black Domers is a remarkable read. Through the editors’ masterful balance of narrative depth and historical breadth, readers witness the trials, tribulations, brilliance, and resilience of black students at Notre Dame over the past seven decades. Reading this book left me emotional at times. Still, I remained inspired, with a resolute sense of pride in walking the campus where these trailblazers broke down barriers. Black Domers serves not only as a testament of how far we have come, but as a charge to continue the important work of ensuring that the experiences of every member of the Notre Dame family are consistent and reflect well on Our Lady.”  - Eric Love, Director of Staff Diversity and Inclusion, University of Notre Dame

Black Domers -- Book Purchase Information

To purchase the book*, go to: ND Press - Black Domers. You can also call Longleaf Services (UND Press’s book vendor) at 1-800-848-6224 to place an order. The E-book is available immediately and hard copies can take 3-4 weeks for delivery, so please plan accordingly. A 30% discount is available using the code 14ReadND.

*The authors' royalties from the book benefit the Frazier Thompson Scholarship Fund, which was created by the Black Alumni of ND in 1997 to honor the late Frazier Thompson, a pre-professional major, track athlete and the University's first African-American alumnus, a 1947 graduate.

The July 22, 1956 South Bend Tribune features Goldie Ivory,
the first Black woman to graduate from Notre Dame,
earning her Masters in Sociology in 1956
(while working full-time and raising two children, no less.)


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