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Addressing racial injustice

Dr. Martha Barry, '07, a leading voice in Milwaukee's response to racial inequity

As chief racial justice director for the YWCA Southeastern Wisconsin, Dr. Martha Barry, ’07, is on the front lines of the organization’s work to eliminate racism. The YWCA aims to transform the landscape of the region by addressing racial inequities in their many forms, including criminal justice, education, health, housing and employment. The Unlearning Racism class helps community members learn about the impact of racism and how to address it and take action against it.

Barry recently visited with Interim President Dr. Dan Scholz to discuss how her Stritch experience impacts her work, how she lives the Franciscan values, and how we can each challenge racism in our respective communities. The conversation was the first installment of Lessons in Leadership, a video series that shares how members of the Stritch family are transforming communities where they live, work, serve and lead.
2020 Common Read

Stritch community comes together around "So You Want to Talk About Race"

Each year a book that aligns with the Franciscan value of the year is selected as the University’s Common Read. The 2020–2021 Stritch Common Read is “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo. A New York Times bestseller, the book offers a hard-hitting, user-friendly examination of race in America.

All Stritch first-year undergraduate students read the book as part of the Freshman Seminar course that prepares students to be successful members of the University community by learning to understand their personal voice. The book has been incorporated in additional courses, including Dialogues on Power, Privilege and Difference; Intercultural Communication, Nonfiction Workshop; Social Movements; and Teaching and Professionalism, to facilitate conversation and reflection.

“We’re continually impressed with how deeply our students connect with the Common Read, and this year is no exception,” said Laura Misco, an associate professor of English. “‘So You Want to Talk About Race’ investigates systemic racism in America and offers readers language for engagement. Addressing racial injustice in our communities sits in perfect alignment with our Franciscan value of Making Peace.”

2021 Common Read

2021 Common Read and Kendall Lecture to feature Tommy Orange, author of “There There”

Cardinal Stritch University will welcome Tommy Orange, author of “There There”, a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, for the 2021 Kendall Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 4. “There There” is a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. The book also will be the University’s Common Read for the 2021–2022 academic year. A virtual book discussion will be held for Stritch alumni and friends in advance of Orange’s visit to campus.

Orange graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California.

Learn more about the Kendall Lecture Series.