SESSION TITLE: RADICAL HOPE, PROPHETIC ACTION FOR RACIAL EQUITY
Beginning with a clear look at our present reality, this panel will examine ways in which our schools, communities, society, and the Church are failing to uphold racial equity, and also places where they find hope in this work. Discussion will then turn to prophetic action asking: what are we called to do to build racial equity in our world?
Mary Wardell-Ghirarduzzi, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach, University of San Francisco
An educator and thought leader on implementing a broad-based diversity and inclusion strategy, Dr. Mary J. Wardell-Ghirarduzzi understands the unique duty of leaders to advance social justice in their organization. Dr. Wardell has served as the inaugural vice provost and chief diversity officer (CDO) of the University of San Francisco since 2011 and is a leadership and organizational change professor in the USF School of Education and School of Management. She is the President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission stewarding a $160M budget for one of the most important public anchor institutions in North America. Mary received the Most Influential Woman award by the San Francisco Business Times in 2017 for the impact of her leadership in the community as a university and civic leader.
Other Large Scale Breakouts
Carlos Jiménez is the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Bellarmine College Prep in San José. A graduate from Santa Clara University, where he obtained a B.S. in political science and a single subject teaching credential in social studies, Carlos has more than 13 years of experience providing support and advocacy for first-generation, low-income students and their families.
Maureen O’Connell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, LaSalle University
After eight years in the Theology Department at Fordham University, Maureen H. O’Connell returned in 2013 to her native city of Philadelphia to Chair the Department of Religion at LaSalle University where she is also an Associate Professor of Christian Ethics. She holds a BA in History from Saint Joseph’s University and a PhD in Theological Ethics from Boston College. She authored Compassion: Loving Our Neighbor in an Age of Globalization (Orbis Books, 2009) and If These Walls Could Talk: Community Muralism and the Beauty of Justice (The Liturgical Press, 2012), which won the College Theology Book of the Year Award in 2012 and the Catholic Press Association’s first place for books in theology in 2012. Her current research project explores racial identity formation, racism, and racial justice in Catholic institutions of higher education. She serves on the board of the Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies and is a member of St. Vicent De Paul parish in Germantown, where is also a member of POWER (Philadelphians Organizing to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild). POWER is an interfaith federation of 90-faith communities committed to making Philadelphia the city of “just love” (as well as “brotherly love and sisterly affection”) through a more just wage for workers, fair funding for public schools, immigration reform and decarceration.