New Year's Greeting

Use this QR code to see GU's DICE event calendar.

February 02, 2022
Joan Iva C. Fawcett

Dear Prospective Students and Families,

                As we begin 2022 and approach almost two years of this global pandemic, it can sometimes be challenging to look forward to the year ahead.  The health of our society wages battle with a virus that has proven to be highly adaptable and infectious.  COVID-19, in all of its variations, continues to disrupt business as usual with delayed travel plans, supply shortages, and cancellation of large-scale events, to name just a few of the challenges.  Despite the gloom and doom, I am still comforted by how quickly people can rally together and pivot with compassion and creativity.

A perfect example of this collaboration and initiative was the MLK, Jr. program that took place virtually on January 17, 2022 when COVID cancelled Spokane’s MLK, Jr. march and rally for the second year in a row.  Undeterred, Gonzaga, Whitworth, and Eastern Washington University (EWU) came together to organize A Dream Remembered: The Past, Present, and Future of Black Excellence to honor the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Over 70 participants had the opportunity to hear thoughtful reflections from Dr. Robin Kelley, Chief Diversity Officer at Gonzaga University; Dr. Scott Finnie, Program Director and Senior Faculty of Africana Studies at EWU; Stephy Nobles-Beans, Chaplin at Whitworth University; and Freda Gandy, Executive Director of the MLK, Jr. Community Center in Spokane.  In addition to their words of wisdom, the event showcased spoken word, singing, and even dance.

The MLK, Jr. event was just the start of an amazing lineup of social justice programming that the Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC) and the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center has to offer this spring semester.  Highlights include Diversity Monologues and Lavender Graduation as well as university collaborations featuring New York Times bestselling author Michelle Alexander and indigenous human rights lawyer, climate activist, and writer Julian Aguon.  Whether its dialoguing around Controversial Questions, mentoring underrepresented students, or developing stronger allies through Sexuality and Gender Equity (SAGE) Certification, UMEC and the Lincoln LGBTQ+ Resource Center are here to accompany students on their identity development and social justice journey.  COVID or not, we will deliver co-curricular programs designed to raise self-awareness, build inclusive community, and advocate for historically underrepresented and traditionally marginalized groups.

In Solidarity,

Joan Iva C. Fawcett

Dean for Social Justice Leadership & Community Empowerment

 

To access the DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, Community, and Equity) calendar, please click here.