Feb 2021 - Project REAL...Reflection, Education, Action and Love...Part II – Education

In November’s Golden Domer, the ND Senior Alumni group kicked off a four-part series for Project REAL.  This initiative was started in late 2020 following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and the overwhelming reaction of the University and fellow alumni to unjust treatment of blacks and people of color in America today.

In the initial piece on Reflection, a very courageous fellow senior alum Cindy Lupica ’80 opened her heart to share her journey discussing the vast inequities suffered by non-white communities based on decades of institutional racial bias.  In the end of her reflection, she concluded… Now, months later, with hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and past misconceptions mostly in the rearview mirror, I focus on listening, understanding, comity, and kindness.  I acknowledge that the process in getting to this place has required soul-searching, introspection, and a willingness to admit that I am not too old to learn—from my children, my community, and my faith.  In the end, we are all people of goodwill.

As we know, many of us senior alums who attended ND back in the 60’s, 70’s & early 80’s may not have been exposed to the challenges of racial and social discrimination and hardships.  What could that have been like, and how did it make those who were impacted feel?  How have things changed since then, and have they gotten any better?

As pointed out by Dr. Sanjay Gupta in his new book, Keeping Sharp – Building A Better Brain at Any Age, he suggests a holistic approach to building a better brain with five key components: exercise, sleep, diet, new & different cognitive activities, reducing stress & maintaining social interactions.

In this edition, we focus on Part II of REAL, Education.  By offering a variety of resources, we hope to provide you an opportunity to “exercise your brain” and walk away with a better understanding of both the challenges and potential ways of improving things.

Unlike our classes at ND, this learning is “self-service”.  There is no syllabus, no professor taking attendance, no all-nighters (unless you can’t sleep), no tests (thank goodness) and best of all no loans to pay off.  This resource list is not an exhaustive one, but simply a place to get started.  We hope you see even a few articles or videos of interest, and leave you looking for more.

Editor’s Note – Special thanks to Pamela Young JD ‘87, ND Director of Academic Diversity and Inclusion and to Shelly Williams ’07, ND Black Alumni Board Chair for their contributions to the resources below.  Also, not all of the resources have been vetted by NDSA, and as such are not intended as “recommendations”.  Instead, they are intended as an “easy to access” source of materials (similar to a library) for you to view and choose which to read and view.  If you have other good sources to share with our Senior Alumni Community, we would be happy to add them to the list (send to  goldendomer@alumni.nd.edu).


ND Resources

Black Alumni Board Of Notre Dame – In honor of Black History Month, the Black Alumni of Notre Dame Board of Directors partnered with the Notre Dame Alumni Association, Black@ND, the Southwest Region and others to host a series of panel conversations designed to inspire meaningful conversation. To register for these events, go to:  ba.undgroup.org and look under “events”.

Throughout the month of February, they will host 4+ panel discussions, highlighting the voices, achievements, issues and concerns of black alumni, students, faculty and staff of Notre Dame and beyond. The panel discussions and panelists will feature ND alumni, current students, and faculty/staff, making the conversations relevant to anyone within the ND family. By elevating and participating in these conversations, you are taking one of the many needed to help Notre Dame become a more diverse, inclusive and equitable community.

  • Feb. 4th @ 7:00pm ET – Celebrating the BA Legacy: Then, Now, and Our FUTURE
  • Feb. 11th @ 7:00pm ET - Business and Career: Surviving to Thriving - Leading Black Businesses Through Unprecedented Challenge – Hosted by Mike Brown
  • Feb. 18th @ 7pm ET- Black Well-being: Finding Your Balance: Mentally, Physically and Nutritionally – Hosted by Jetaun Davis
  • Feb. 28th @ 1:00pm - Black Faith/Spirituality – Hosted by Kayla August
  • Starting February 1st - 31 Days of Black History - Hosted by Black@ND with Emorja Roberson

Klau Center for Civil & Human Rights

Founded in 1973 by Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., then president of the University of Notre Dame, the Klau Center’s mission is at once both ambitious and fundamental: We seek to advance the God-given dignity of all human persons. We anchor this work in an integrative approach to civil and human rights. We aspire to provide transformative education, innovative research, and meaningful engagement with students and with the broader community.

Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary - A multi-part lecture series and associated course presenting preeminent scholars, thought leaders, and public intellectuals to guide our community through topics necessary to an understanding of systemic racism and racial justice. The series is self-consciously an entry point, designed to provide intellectual and moral building blocks to begin the transformative work of anti-racism in our students, on our campus, and in our broader communities.  Watch videos of the series from Fall ’20 and the new series starting Friday February 12, 2021.

 What Can White People Do About Systemic Racism?  - Black Lives Matter-South Bend hosted a series of public events and educational forums aimed at broadening the conversation around racial justice. Among the sessions was an online presentation by Emmanuel Cannady, a member of the organization, doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Notre Dame, and Klau Center graduate affiliate. Cannady offered a set of concrete steps that white people could take to help further the cause. He spoke to an online audience of over 300 on Facebook Live and Zoom on June 6, 2020.

With Voices True, An Archive of Personal Narratives on Race - In partnership with the John W. Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy and University of Notre Dame Archives, the Klau Center seeks to give voice to the Notre Dame community on issues of race and racial identity. Through written, spoken, or visual stories, our community reflects on how we experience race, how it shapes our lives, and how we navigate relationships within it.


ThinkND is an online learning community that connects you with videos, podcasts, articles, courses, and other resources to inspire minds and spark conversations on everything from faith and politics to science, technology, and your career.

Social Injustice - This link brings you to a subset of content in ThinkND under the search criteria of Social Injustice.  It contains dozens of articles, videos and podcasts related to this subject. 

Black Domers Series - View the discussions with Notre Dame alumni from each decade and about topics like women, veterans, and athletes.  (The book Black Domers features 75 essays and profiles from Notre Dame alumni sharing their reflections and experiences across more than seven decades. This collection of stories will be used as an important tool to spark dialogue and learning among members of the Notre Dame community.)

Office of the Provost

The Office of the Provost provides ND faculty and staff a number of resources such as workshops, podcast and other documents on the subject of diversity. 

Diversity Resources - Amongst other things, included in this link is a compilation of resources entitled Learning About Anti-Racism for education, reflection, and action on what it means to be an anti-racist.

Walk the Walk Week 2021 - This year, the University observes Walk the Walk Week from February 22 through February 28. Walk the Walk Week is a week-long series of University and department sponsored events designed to help each of us consider the steps we might take individually and collectively to make Notre Dame, our communities, and our nation more welcoming and inclusive. 

Language, Race and Justice (Thursday February 25th) - This session examines the intersections of language, race, identity and power. Drawing on recent work in raciolinguistics — the realm of linguistics which serves to answer the question “What does it mean to speak as a racialized subject in contemporary America?” — this interactive workshop asks participants to consider their own language stories and how language has shaped who they are and to what extent language repertoires inform perceived or real inclusion/exclusion in the speaking communities in which we participate.  Registration required.

Black @ ND

Black @ ND is a YouTube-based talk show that will discuss the experiences, successes and challenges of the @University of Notre Dame's African American students, current and alumni, and the steps taken to survive in a community that lacks representation of color. “It is our job to discuss the difficult topics and have honest perspectives followed by ways of improvement with aims to build a better community”.  (complete Black @ ND YouTube playlist here)

What Does It Mean to beBlack at ND? - Host: Emorja Roberson (@emorjaroberson), Guests: Karrah Miller-Herring, J.D., Eric Love, Shelene Baiyee, Andre Wilson

Black Domers – Pioneers (Part 1), Black Domers – Pioneers (Part 2) - Co-hosts: Emorja Roberson (@emorjaroberson), Lynnette Wukie, James Riley; Guests: Don Wycliff, David Krashna, Ben Finley, and Percy A. Pierre

Non-ND Resources

McKinsey & Company – Diversity & Inclusion - The business case for gender equality, diversity, and inclusion is strong and growing stronger. This collection examines the barriers that prevent companies from addressing gender and racial equality and identifies solutions for building a stronger, more inclusive workforce.

Howard University Law Library – Black Civil Rights in the US - This guide offers a history of various movements by citizens in the United States to gain political and social freedom and equality.  Exam Black Civil rights from the Jim Crow era to the Black Lives Matter Movement (see various tabs under Black Civil Rights).

Catholic Church Resources

Dioceses of Little Rock - Bishop Issues Black Lives Matter Statement – Hear from Bishop Anthony B. Taylor who issued a statement to the people of the Diocese of Little Rock, July 2, 2020, about Black Lives Matter.

US Conference of Bishops – Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism - Seeking to teach about and to witness to the intrinsic dignity of the human person as an antidote to the grave sin of racism.  This includes the pastoral letter of the United States bishops titled “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, A Pastoral Letter Against Racism” which provides a comprehensive discussion of the ills of racism and how we can draw on our faith to combat it.

Historical Resources

National Museum of African American History and Culture - The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a place where all Americans can learn about the richness and diversity of the African American experience, what it means to their lives, and how it helped us shape this nation.  Editor’s Note – Once the pandemic is over and we are allowed to travel, this is a wonderful museum to visit and learn about the past challenges of Black Americans leading up to the current day.

Underground Railroad - The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early to mid-19th century, and used by enslaved African-Americans to escape into free states and Canada. The scheme was assisted by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees.  Not literally but metaphorically a railroad, the enslaved who risked escape and those who aided them are also collectively referred to as the "Underground Railroad".  If you live in the Midwest, Northeast or even Canada, there may be a “station” in your state.  Check out the routes used by escaping slaves on the map in the link.  A number of cities have homes or buildings still standing available to visit.

History of American Racism - Racism in the United States has existed since the colonial era and it involves laws, practices, attitudes and actions which discriminate against various groups based on their race or ethnicity. While most white Americans enjoy legally or socially sanctioned privileges and rights, these same privileges and rights can be denied to members of other races and minority groups. European Americans, particularly affluent white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, are said to have enjoyed advantages in matters of education, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, bankruptcy, and criminal procedure throughout American history.

158 Resources To Understand Racism in America - These articles, videos, podcasts and websites from the Smithsonian chronicle the history of anti-black violence and inequality in the United States. Chapters include: Historical Context; Systemic Inequality; Anti-Black Violence; Protest; Intersectionality; Allyship and Education.

Do Your Own Research

Who doesn’t like “independent study”?  Check out these online institutions which provide access to a wealth of resources: 

ND Archives - Search through decades of ND content on such topics such as racism, diversity, etc.

Local Libraries - The local library in your town (or major city) probably has a selection of books on race and social justice, especially during Black History Month.  Here is an example from the BPL in Boston.


Other news