Message from the Vice President
September 24, 2020
Our university community, like our society in general, finds itself at an important inflection point as we confront the overlapping and often overwhelming challenges of systemic racism, global pandemic, economic collapse, and political turmoil. In responding to these crises, we have an opportunity to propose real transformational change to our institutions, our attitudes, and our behaviors, change that can inch us closer to realizing our civic aspirations to form a more perfect union grounded in justice and to answering Jesus’ call in the Gospels to lay the foundations for the Kingdom of God in this world. This, then, is our kairos moment.
I therefore announce the formation of the Mission and Ministry Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, which over the coming weeks will lead a division-wide reflection as part of LMU’s Anti-Racism Project. President Snyder has charged each unit on campus with examining our structures and practices and developing measurable action steps that will address obstacles to racial justice that we identify in the course of our analysis. This process is outlined here and described in more detail here. The short-term goal is to produce a report to be submitted to the Office of Intercultural Affairs by November 1.
The DEI Task Force, co-chaired by Kat Brown, Director of Mission and Identity Programs, and John Paul Ramírez, Campus Minister for Regional Service, will have primary responsibility for (1) developing the process we will use to guide our reflection and (2) leading the prayerful discernment that will enable us to complete our report.
Eradicating a problem older than the United States itself will, of course, take longer than a month. The reflection we will engage in collectively over the next few weeks is merely a prelude the long-term work of effecting real change at a time when our university faces significant financial challenges that are likely to make us even more risk-averse as an institution than we already are. Guided by the Spirit and with a renewed commitment to advancing solidarity and the common good, we must seek ways to overcome that institutional inertia.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me, to Kat and John Paul, or to any of the members of the task force, whose names appear below. I appreciate in advance your support of this process, and I look forward with hope to the fruits of this critically important labor.
John Sebastian, Ph.D.
Vice President for Mission and Ministry
Task Force Members
Kat Brown (Co-Chair)
Director of Mission and Identity Programs
Office of the Vice President for Mission and Ministry
John Paul Ramírez (Co-Chair)
Campus Minister for Regional Service
José García Moreno
Director, Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination
Professor of Animation
Center for Religion and Spirituality
Campus Minister for Faith and Justice
Wayne Negrete, SJ
Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Judith Royer, CSJ
CSJ Center for Reconciliation and Justice
October 1, 2020
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force convenes
Early October 2020
Area-level systemic analyses
Late October 2020
Task Force reviews area-level reports and composes unit report
November 1, 2020
Task Force submits unit report to Office of Intercultural Affairs
Fall and Spring 2020
Implementation of Task Force recommendations
LMU Anti-Racism Project
Overview and links
Mission and Ministry Resources for Racial Justice and Anti-Racism
Articles, resources, and tools from Catholic, Jesuit, CSJ, and RSHM perspectives
Systemic Analysis: Eight Questions to Guide Unit-Level Reflection
Guidelines for areas and units, from the LMU Office of Intercultural Affairs
Mission-Centered Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism: Training and Development Matrix
Topics, themes, and learning outcomes for DEI+A work in an Ignatian context, from the Ignatian Solidarity Network
If you have questions or comments that you would like to share with the Task Force directly, please use the form linked below. Entries may be anonymous or not, as desired.