Integrated Learning Series

At the Confluence of the Liberal Arts and Social Justice—Race in the Machine

The Deans’ Office, in partnership with the St. Catherine University Community Response Team, is pleased to host an Integrated Learning Summer Series. Members of the St. Catherine University community including students, faculty/staff, alumni, and supporters, are welcome to join us every Tuesday evening for thought-provoking conversation.

Each live video session will consist of a 20-minute presentation, and 30 minutes for Q&A. Please RSVP if you plan to attend to receive the session link.

The U.S. Civil Rights Movement: Resistance and Strategic Nonviolence 1954-1965

Presented by Alma J. Billingslea, PhD, Professor Emerita Spelman College

Tuesday, June 30, 7 P.M. - RSVP

NOTE: ASL interpretation will not be available for this event. However, the recording will be close-captioned.

Mass protest and demonstrations in more than 150 cities throughout the United States and in major cities world-wide are challenging structural inequities and institutions that repress collective action for justice and equality. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the current challenge to systemic injustice, both here and abroad, constitutes an urgent appeal for a democratic sharing of power, resources and wealth. While the current wave of protest expands, transforms and revises historic movements in the U.S., the demonstrations sweeping the nation recently are vitally linked to the ten-year struggle for civil rights actualized during the 1960s.

In this talk, “The U.S. Civil Rights Movement: Resistance and Strategic Nonviolence, 1954-1965,” Dr. Billingslea provides opportunities to explore and clarify those links.  Using documentary photographs, this talk identifies the origin, source and major events of the nonviolent campaigns organized during the U.S. civil rights movement. At the same time, to provide a context for the current race-based policing and fatal police force that have resulted in the murders of George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and others, this talk will consider how strategic nonviolence undergirded the multiple forms of resistance used to combat vigilante and state-organized violence and repression.  

Minnesota Native 101

Presented by Dawn Quigley, PhD, Education Department, St. Catherine University

Tuesday, July 7, 7 P.M. - RSVP

ASL interpretation available upon request.

As we know, educational settings were, and still are, the site of Native people’s assimilation and attempted decimation (culturally, historically and physically) and therefore, educational settings must also be the site of Indigenous self-determination and trauma healing. If we continue these discussions, St. Kate's could begin taking intentional steps to the long healing

As a CSJ institution, we know that words are only the beginning, but we must have action along with it. Dr. Quigley will offer a quick, fast-paced lecture and discussion on “Minnesota Native 101” which will give a surface introduction to our state’s original people.

This is a lecture for novices to gain a path to learn more about the state’s history, language and culture of Native people. Dr. Quigley will focus on the Dakota tribe in her reading list.

From Criminalization to Carceral Consequences: Race at the Center of the Criminal Legal System

Presented by: Nancy A. Heitzeg, PhD, Sociology Department, St. Catherine University

Tuesday, July 14, 7 P.M. - RSVP

ASL interpretation available upon request.

Relying on research from multiple Liberal Arts disciplines, this session will provide an overview of:

  • The historical roots of criminalization, policing, and punishment in racial capitalism
  • Contemporary issues in the criminal legal system: race class gender and disproportionate arrests, police violence, correctional control and mass incarceration
  • Connections to current situation nationally and locally/Georg Floyd murder, protests and demands
  • Questions about reform versus defunding and abolition – what are the pathways forward?

Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?: Housing Inequality in Ramsey County

Presented by: Rachel Neiwert, PhD, History Department, St. Catherine University

Tuesday, July 21, 7 P.M. - RSVP

ASL interpretation available upon request.

In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, there was increased attention online and on social media to systemic racism. While the reality and fact of systemic racism is not a surprise to communities of color, it can be a challenging concept for white people to understand and recognize. Given the prevalence of the belief in the United States as a meritocracy and the idea of the self-made individual, it perhaps should not be surprising that many white people resist the idea of systemic racism. How do we educate people, particularly white people, to see and accept the reality that inequality and racism are simply baked into the system?

The Mapping Prejudice Project, an effort to map the presence of racial covenants in Hennepin and Ramsey County, provides a powerful opportunity to see systemic racism on the page (or screen!). Racial covenants were simply language added to property deeds that forbid people of color from living in a particular home. Racial covenants were prevalent in the first half of the twentieth century, before the Supreme Court declared them unenforceable in 1948, though it took until the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to completely destroy their enforcement. By searching housing deeds to identify every instance of a racial covenant in Hennepin County, the Mapping Prejudice Project created a map that provides a holistic picture of their presence. That map can then be overlaid with information about educational outcomes, health outcomes, the presence of interstates, and green space. It turns out that racial covenants leave a powerful legacy in our world today. Given the ways that racial covenants blanketed particular communities, it provides clear evidence of the reality of systemic racism.

In 2020, Mapping Prejudice turned its attention to Ramsey County. Faculty, staff, and students at St. Catherine University created a collaboration with the Mapping Prejudice Project, entitled “Welcoming the Dear Neighbor?: A History of Housing Inequality in Ramsey County.” The project’s title come from the Sisters of St. Joseph and reflects their value of love for the dear neighbor without distinction and their many efforts to work towards a more just society for all. This project explores the question of who was welcomed historically in Ramsey County and its many neighborhoods by surfacing the stories that provide context to the map of racial covenants. As a result of this work, we will better understand the legacies of housing inequality in Ramsey County today.

In this presentation, Dr. Neiwert will share the background of both the Welcoming the Dear Neighbor? project and Mapping Prejudice and the stories we have discovered. As part of the presentation, audience members will learn how to participate in the Mapping Prejudice project, by working through a deed transcription session. We will also discuss the project’s preliminary findings on how participating in the work helps people to better recognize the presence of systemic racism. The session will be interactive and an introduction to an ongoing project that will have further opportunities for people to get involved again in the future.

Say Their Names: The Black Diaspora, Systemic Racism and Black Movements in Global Perspective

Presented by Daniel Williams, PhD Sociology Department, St. Catherine University

Tuesday, July 28, 7 P.M.

ASL interpretation available upon request.

More details coming soon.


Anti-Asian Racism and COVID-19 

Presented by Jennifer Ho, PhD Ethnic Studies Department, University of Colorado Boulder

Tuesday, August 4, 7 P.M.

ASL interpretation available upon request.

Anti-Asian racism is a global phenomenon, but its prevalence in the United States can be traced back to the 19th Century. This conversation will briefly touch on the historical context, and connect ways that the anti-Asian racism that has emerged in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic follows similar vitriolic veins of the past.


COVID-19: Unmasking Health Inequities

Presented by Fardowsa Mohammed, MPAS, PA-C, St. Catherine MPAS alumna, Tara Rick, MPAS, PA-C, Adjunct Professor MPAS program, and current St Catherine MPAS students

Tuesday, August 11, 7 P.M.

ASL interpretation available upon request.

More details coming soon.