Is There a Common Good in Our Common Home?
Santa Clara University’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education will present lectures, speakers, and podcasts exploring the “common good” in today’s racial, economic, gender, and environmental concerns.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 22, 2016—The Bannan Institutes program of Santa Clara University’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education will be tapping the expertise of faculty members and nationally noted speakers to explore in depth what it means to seek a “common good” in questions of race and ethnicity, economic equality, gender, and the environment.
A kick-off series in October will focus on the 2016 presidential election, looking at what’s at stake for justice from the platforms, policies, and rhetoric that have emerged from this historic election season.
For the next two years, each quarter the program will dive deeply into some of the most pressing contemporary issues concerning the common good. Public events will include expert speakers and public roundtable dialogues led by Santa Clara University faculty. A new podcast series will make the discussions widely available.
“These conversations are a tremendous think tank. When we bring the academic specialist disciplines of this University together around the pressing questions of our times, they can contribute better to building a more humane, just, and sustainable world,” said Dorian Llywelyn, S. J., executive director of the Ignatian Center. “Pope Francis is constantly telling the whole globe that respecting the unconditional dignity of each human life means being in solidarity with others—that’s the heart of what we do and who we are here at SCU. I’m hoping that this latest venture of the Ignatian Center will help not only the campus but also the wider Silicon Valley community imagine what solidarity really looks like.”
Turning Talking Into Doing
During their regular meetings, a half-dozen faculty members and student research assistants in each of the four specialty areas -- race, economy, gender, and environment --will put their discussions to work. The fruits of the Ignatian Center’s project might include advocacy efforts aimed at the Environmental Protection Agency, a new income and poverty initiative, or research and practical outreach in restorative justice.
“We are very excited at the opportunity to spend the next two years delving into these areas that are so integral to the values of Santa Clara University,” said Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley, director of the Ignatian Center’s Bannan Institutes programs. “This work is at the core of our mission of fostering dialogue around issues of contemporary significance, which are also central to the Jesuit, Catholic social, intellectual, and spiritual tradition.”
The schedule for Election 2016 events is below. For future Bannan Institutes events, please see www.scu.edu/bannan.
Presidential Election 2016 – Events
All fall events will be held in the Saint Clare Room, Library and Learning Commons, at Santa Clara University from 4-5:15 p.m.
DATE: Oct. 5, 2016
Topic: What Is At Stake for Racial and Ethnic Justice in Election 2016? Stronger Together, Making America Great Again
Speaker 1: Brett Solomon, associate professor, child studies program, Santa Clara University
Topic: Professor Solomon will facilitate a faculty panel that explores the implications of the Trump slogan “make America great again” and Clinton’s campaign concept of being “stronger together.” The panel will also explore the potential implications of the 2016 election on racial and ethnic justice, and reflect on the broader contemporary politics of race in the United States. Panelists: Anthony Hazard, Cruz Medina, William O'Neill, S.J.
Speaker 2: Anthony Hazard, assistant professor, ethnic studies, Santa Clara University
Topic: Prof. Hazard will explore the long trajectory of exclusionary democracy and the process of making "race" real. As "race" remains with us into the 21st century (despite advances in anthropological/genetic knowledge), how are Trump and Clinton grappling with that long history of racialization that has been central to American society and politics? An open discussion will follow the panelists’ dialogue.)
Speaker 3: Cruz Medina, assistant professor, English, Santa Clara University
Topic: Prof. Medina will draw on his research into how Latino men and women are portrayed in social media and address the issues of race and ethnicity present in the 2016 election. (An open discussion will follow the panelists’ dialogue.)
Speaker 4: William O’Neill, S.J., associate professor of social ethics, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University.
Topic: Prof. O’Neill will discuss the lack of attention in the 2016 presidential campaign to "restorative justice," a radical response to mass incarceration and the endemic racism of our criminal justice system. Fr. O'Neill has 15 years of experience as a prison minister and professor teaching restorative justice. (An open discussion will follow the panelists’ dialogue.)
DATE: Oct. 11, 2016
Topic: What Is At Stake for Environmental Justice in Election 2016? The Elusive Role of Race and Equity in Environmental Regulation
Speaker 1: Tseming Yang, professor of law, Santa Clara University School of Law
Topic: Prof. Yang will review the history of the environmental justice movement, how it has changed perspectives on the role of race and equity in environmentalism and regulatory policy, and some of the remaining key challenges that face the next Administration. (An open discussion will follow the speakers’ prepared remarks.)
Speaker 2: Christopher Bacon, associate professor of environmental studies and sciences, Santa Clara University
Topic: Prof. Bacon will discuss his observations on the disproportionate impact of climate issues and their links to food security in Central America, where he has conducted extensive research on agricultural and food justice. (An open discussion will follow the speakers’ prepared remarks.)
DATE: Oct. 17, 2016
Topic: What Is At Stake for Economic Justice in Election 2016? Economic Inequality in Global, National, and Local Perspective
Speaker 1: William Sundstrom, professor of economics, Santa Clara University
Topic: Growing income inequality and the stagnation of middle-class incomes over recent decades have been prominent themes in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Prof. Sundstrom will place the issue in global and local perspective and discuss the candidates' views. Do the positions of either side offer an effective response to the causes or consequences of widening inequality? (An open discussion will follow the speakers’ prepared remarks.)
Speaker 2: Laura Nichols, associate professor of sociology, Santa Clara University
Topic: Prof. Nichols will respond to Prof. Sundstrom's remarks focusing mainly on the U.S. context, briefly discussing the problem of poverty in developed economies as well as the role of education and the Catholic church in particular in addressing issues of economic justice that supersede political parties and presidential administrations. (An open discussion will follow the speakers’ prepared remarks.)
DATE: Oct. 25, 2016
Topic: What Is At Stake for Gender Justice in Election 2016? Rethinking Gender and the Politics of Possible
Speaker 1: Sharmila Lodhia, associate professor, women’s and gender studies, Santa Clara University
Topic: With issues involving gender dominating the news like never before, Prof. Lodhia will consider some of the ways in which ideas about gender have entered contemporary law and politics. Drawing on anecdotes including candidate Trump’s gendered assumptions about the “silence” of Ghazala Khan, the mother of a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier; Clinton’s early framing of women’s rights as human rights; and shifting public discourse around the issue of sexual violence, Prof. Lodhia will address how issues of gender justice intersect with notions of the common good in an increasingly transnational landscape. (An open discussion will follow the speakers’ prepared remarks.)
Speaker 2: Stephanie Wildman, John A. and Elizabeth H. Sutro Professor of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law
Topic: Prof. Wildman will draw on her essay “Gender In/Sight” to suggest discuss ways to process spoken or unspoken gender-based assumptions. (An open discussion will follow the speakers’ prepared remarks.)
For future Bannan Institutes events, please see www.scu.edu/bannan.