Thursday December 2, 2010

All Are Welcome

The University of Dayton is hosting a two-day forum in January that will offer a fresh look at the issue of race in the Catholic Church.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the University of Dayton are sponsoring "All Are Welcome? Race in the Church Today," Jan. 28-29, 2011, at the University's Kennedy Union. The event is open to the public. Registration is required by Jan. 10 and costs $35, which includes lunch. Download the Forum on Race brochure for more information and how to register.

The forum is intended to help participants learn to identify the subtleties of racism and to become more open to the transforming power of God to change hearts.

"It is true that most of us have moved well beyond any discriminatory attitudes and practices," said Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, who is scheduled to preside at the closing of the forum. "However, the insidious effect of contemporary racism is that it functions as an unconscious element in our cultural system. It is hard to become aware of it. This forum is not intended to lay guilt trips on anyone, but to call us to an understanding that frees us to be the truly welcoming faith community that we want to be."

Speakers include the Rev. Bryan Massingale, associate professor of theology at Marquette University; the Rev. Daniel Groody, C.S.C., assistant professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame; Ronaldo Cruz, director of development at Pax Christi; C. Vanessa White, director of the Augustus Tolton Pastoral Ministry Program at the Catholic Theological Union; Gerald Beyer, associate professor of theology at St. Joseph University; and Deacon Royce Winters of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The University's sponsorship of the forum is one of many activities during the spring semester focused on diversity and inclusion. Geoffey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone in New York City, will speak on campus Jan. 18 as part of the University's annual Diversity Lecture Series. Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will close the series with a lecture March 14.

As part of Human Rights Week, Gabriel Bol Deng, who fled civil war-torn Sudan as a child, will give a free talk at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, in the Kennedy Union Ballroom.

The University of Dayton's commitment to diversity is founded in its Catholic heritage of social justice and the Marianist tradition of equality and inclusivity for all people.

For more information, contact Dan Andriacco, Archdiocese of Cincinnati communications director, at 513-421-3131 or