Presented by the Canisius Academy and co-sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies, Olga M. Segura will virtually deliver the fourth annual Canisius Academy Lecture, based on her just-published book Birth of a Movement: Black Lives Matter and the Catholic Church.
In April of 2019, upon signing her first publishing contract with Orbis Books, Olga Segura set out to write what she envisioned would be “a gentle accompaniment for white Catholics in particular” to contextualize the Black Lives Matter movement and what it represents for the Church and the country.
And then 2020 happened.
In her lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10, “Birth of a Movement: Black Lives Matter and the Catholic Church,” Segura will explain how major events in 2020 — the pandemic, and the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others — transformed her message into an urgent wake-up for Catholics and a radical call to dignity and equality for all people. She will examine the founding of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Church’s history of systemic racism, and offer ways that the Church can move forward through the discomfort of authentic self-reckoning.
In a recent interview with Orbis publisher Robert Ellsberg, Segura defined Black Lives Matter as “a movement that challenges people to understand that every person is worthy of dignity and every person is deserving of empathy.” By relating the Black Lives Matter movement through a Christian lens, her lecture will invite all listeners — Catholic and others — to the conversation, and offer insights and a deeper understanding of the movement and why it can help the Church, and the country, move closer to racial equality.
Fluent in Spanish and Italian, Olga Segura was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and graduated from Fordham University with a BA in English and Italian language and literature. She is a freelance writer, the opinion editor at National Catholic Reporter, and the author of Birth of a Movement: Black Lives Matter and the Catholic Church (Orbis Press, Feb. 2021).
Segura previously worked as an associate editor at America Media, where she wrote and solicited articles on race and culture. She co-founded and is the former co-host of the podcast “Jesuitical.” Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, Sojourners, The Revealer, and in the digital news outlets Latino Rebels, Shondaland, and Refinery29.
Presented by the Canisius Academy and co-sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies, the fourth annual Canisius Academy Lecture will be livestreamed as a free webinar at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10, and is open to the public.