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September 2020

Graphic photo mixing Black Lives Matter and Doctors in blue garb

Graphic photo mixing Black Lives Matter and Doctors in blue garb

Twin Pandemics Forum Addresses COVID-19 and Racial Injustice

Santa Clara University faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members come together to discuss the intersection and impact of the twin pandemics.

Two-day campus forum addresses two pandemics: COVID-19 and racial injustice.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 24, 2020—A virtual two-day forum will explore the consequences of a nation gripped by two pandemics —COVID-19 and the reckoning over racial injustice—through discussion, performances, panels and collective action.

The event is sponsored by the Center for the Arts and Humanities at Santa Clara University’s College of Arts and Sciences, in conjunction with the Bannan Forum of the University’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. Registration for the Twin Pandemics Forum, taking place October 1 and 2, 2020, can be found at

An interdisciplinary forum open to the public, this event will address the intersection and impact of the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice through sessions and panels such as

  • Public Goods, Inequality, and Access
  • Activism, Social Movements, and Change in Pandemic Times
  • Public Health, Race, and Racism

Featuring more than 50 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members across three dozen departments and organizations, these sessions and panels will address how these two global issues are manifesting in our local society and bring to light the historical contexts that have led us to the current moment.

“We were surprised and pleased both by the sheer volume of responses to our call for participants—twice as many as we were expecting—and by the interest among so many members of our campus community,” said Michelle Burnham, director of the Center for the Arts and Humanities. “But we were also thrilled by the incredible range and creative breadth of these proposals, including a live multimedia music and art performance, recorded dance excerpts, digital exhibits and recorded readings, as well as many roundtable discussions and panels on topics from health care, economic justice, and environmental racism to activism, historical pandemics, and representations of blackness in media and art.”

In addition to nine panels and a keynote webinar, virtual exhibits and performances will be available to view throughout the Forum, as will a collection of “Action Breaks” where attendees can take concrete action to combat COVID-19 and racial injustice.

“The Forum offers a space for faculty, staff, alumni, students, community members, and the larger public to come together in a conversation about how to make sense of our present and how to move toward a better and more just future,” says Burnham. “Being held in conjunction with National Arts and Humanities month, the two-day event is an extraordinary gathering of expertise across SCU and a reminder of the importance of the humanities and the arts.”

Registration for the event is free and open to the public. All sessions will be held virtually. More information and the link to register can be found at

About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences challenges students to explore their intellectual passions, enhance their strengths, and develop their talents to serve the common good. As the home of the Core Curriculum, the College offers more than three dozen areas of study for undergraduate students spanning the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, with interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary programs options. The College also offers an M.A. in Pastoral Ministries for graduate students. Home to the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the College offers programming through various initiatives, such as the Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts and the DeNardo Lectureship in the Health Sciences. For more information, visit

About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked among the top 15 percent of national universities by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see

Media Contacts
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5121


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