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Racial Justice & Faith Event at Xavier University to Explore Identity in Era of Rising White Nationalism


February 18, 2020


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123
Austin Schuler, aschuler@faithinpubliclife.org, (540) 280-3393

​Racial Justice & Faith Event at Xavier University to Explore Identity in Era of Rising White Nationalism

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, February 20 at 7 p.m., Faith in Public Life, the Ignatian Solidarity Network and Xavier University in Cincinnati will host a panel that features a diverse group of student leaders exploring issues of race and identity during a time when white supremacists are emboldened, nationalist political rhetoric is now mainstream, and public policies detrimental to communities of color remain persistent barriers to equality in American life. Xavier University President Rev. Michael Graham, SJ, will deliver opening remarks. Faith in Public Life Catholic Program Director John Gehring will moderate the panel. 

“Racism and the legacy of white supremacy remain enduring realities and structural sins that continue to exclude people from the opportunity to live and flourish with dignity,” said John Gehring, author of The Francis Effect and the Catholic program director at Faith in Public Life. “Students of faith at Catholic universities are grappling with how our faith traditions call us to respond to a politics of exclusion. Student leaders are charting a way forward that is both painfully honest and inspiring.”

“On our campus, we highlight our core Jesuit values rooted in Cura Personalis (care for the whole person), living a faith that does justice, and being women and men for and with others,” said Dr. Marcus Mescher, assistant professor of Christian Ethics at Xavier University, and author of The Ethics of Encounter: Christian Neighbor Love as a Practice of Solidarity. “This event will help us analyze and apply these values for racial justice. These students will speak honestly from their own experience, giving us a helpful lens to see where our community succeeds and fails in formation to be agents of solidarity and kinship.”

The program is part of a national tour of Catholic universities that Gehring is leading to engage diverse students and community members of faith in conversations about justice for immigrants, racial equity and urgent threats posed by white nationalist policies.


Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together with a network of over 50,000 leaders, they are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level that affirms our values and the human dignity of all.

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