Posts Tagged ‘social justice’

Diversity Convention in Chicago

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

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Annual Scholarship and Creative Arts Presentation

Thursday, April 27th, 2017


Yesterday I presented my research at the annual Scholarship and Creative Arts presentation in the Benedictine Commons. This was possibly my favorite time I presented my research. Because it was at St. Scholastica, so many students and faculty who were involved with the concert in some way visited my poster excited to hear what I worked on. Singers who’ve performed in it, artists who designed and painted the mural we donated this year, and several audience members asked insightful questions and occasionally tried to stump me! I had a great time working on this project but I am excited to move on to something new in graduate school this Fall.

Civil Rights Museum, Memphis TN

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

For our final day in Memphis, our McNair group visited the Civil Rights Museum. It was filled with many well-known faces and movements such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcom X, and many less familiar faces such as those killed in protest and personal stories from Jim Crow survivors. This entire experience was so powerful. It was shocking to see how deeply rooted the hate for African Americans was during these times of change in the United States. I read messages of “One down, eight to go!” When one of the first nine African American students to attend a desegregated school was expelled and witnessed video recordings of murderous riots. But amidst these images and histories of hate and sorrow were countless images, speeches, and messages of hope and perseverance. I can’t even begin to describe the emotions as I listened to a seven year old girl at the museum read one of the letters written by a 1960’s protestor to his parents from prison or as I read the names of the six children who were murdered in the 1963 baptist church bombing. I am reflecting now on the message given to us at the conference earlier today. So much has changed and changed for the better but we are not equal yet and there is so much more work to be done. I hope that experiences at conferences and museums can be as powerful as mine was and that they will continue to create advocates for change. 

National Conference on Undergraduate Research: Day Three

Saturday, April 8th, 2017


We started our final full day in Memphis by supporting one of our McNair Cohort members by attending her presentation on Parody in Alice in Wonderland. We then attended the final conference lecture with Excecutive Director of Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, Daphne McPharen, and President of the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Terry Freeman. Terry presented on how the role of museums are changing from simply documenting history to being a part of history. The Civil Rights Museum is heavily involved in education and activism for civil rights through community marches, lectures, education programming, and more.  Daphne commented on how her own institution is involved with the Civil Rights movement but also directed our attention to many existing issues need change. Most importantly, she reminded us that visionaries such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was only 26 years old when he began making big changes in the Civil Rights movements and that he was just like many of us: a young student who wanted a better world. She presented us with a call to action. Wherever we go in life, whatever our career, whatever our life circumstances, make activism a goal. Create a better environment, advocate for women’s rights, work to end racism, use our dreams, talents, and passions to improve our community and the world. Daphnes speech was amazing and empowering. It was very fitting that following this presentation, our McNair Cohort visited the Civil Rights Museum. This experience was so powerful that it deserved its own blog post! 

Safe Haven Guest Speaker

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Today a representative of Safe Haven visited Bella Voces choir rehearsal to discuss the importance of healthy relationships and Safe Havens mission in preparation for the Still I Rise Concert on April 8th. These meetings are so important to the choir members because it reminds us who we are singing for and why our music matters. I have met several beautiful women who have spoken out about their own experiences with domestic violence as a direct result of their attendance or participation in this concert. Having a representative from Safe Haven speak not only prepares us for what is always an emotionally charged concert but also educates the performers so that we can be advocates for change.