A Black Lives Matter symposium will be held Nov. 6-7 at Xavier University of Louisiana.
Xavier’s Institute for Black Catholic Studies is presenting the symposium to address critical and urgent concerns of the African-American community and to serve as a catalyst for new solutions and clear actions.
Through a series of keynote addresses, workshops, and panel discussions, the symposium will examine issues from today’s headlines, including the state of race relations, the culture of violence in our country and the enduring effects of poverty.
Registration is required. The cost for the symposium is $40. Early bird registration, available through Sept. 15, is $25. Students with current Xavier ID cards will be admitted free.
For information or to register, visit xulablacklivesmatter.com.
“ ‘Black Lives Matter’ is an open invitation to the community to not only participate in a clear and thought-provoking discussion of racial conflict and racial unrest, but to also be a part of an earnest dialogue that can hopefully lead to effective solutions to spur greater racial understanding as well as racial reconciliation,” said the Rev. Maurice Nutt, director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies.
“ ‘Black Lives Matter’ is an unequivocal clarion call,” he added. “We know that all lives do in fact matter, as all lives are sacred and holy. And yet we also know that even today all lives are not respected and treated as sacred creations of God. We are called to fervently affirm that “black lives matter” because there are those who quite frankly believe that the lives of those of the African diaspora matter little or not at all.”
Keynote addresses will be given by the Rev. Bryan Massingale, a moral theologian at Marquette University, and Brittany Packnett, executive director for Teach for America in St. Louis and member of the Ferguson Commission. Kenneth Polite Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, will offer closing remarks.
Workshops will delve into issues of poverty, black mass incarceration, ethnic and cultural consciousness, understanding white privilege and dealing with law enforcement. Presenters will include: Dr. Alex Mikulich, research fellow at the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans; Hudson Cutno Jr., a sergeant with the New Orleans Police Department; Ralph McCloud, director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Dr. Christi Griffin, founder and CEO of The Ethics Project; and Carol Bebelle, executive director and co-founder of the Ashé Cultural Arts Center.
The event also will feature a panel discussion moderated by Jarvis DeBerry, editorial writer and columnist for The Times Picayune. Guest panelists will include: the Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Church in Chicago, Illinois; Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson, of Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, Section E; Erika McConduit-Diggs, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater New Orleans; and Dr. Brian Turner, an assistant professor of psychology at Xavier.