Notre Dame launches 'Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary' course

The University of Notre Dame has introduced a course titled “Building an Anti-Racist Vocabulary.”

Sponsored by the Klau Center, the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, the course is in an effort to respond to systemic racism and teach communities to respond to racial unrest by filtering one’s vocabulary. The course is part of a larger project that “is designed to be a sophisticated entry point for students, faculty, and staff ready to embrace anti-racism,” according to the university webpage.

The project of which the course is a part features an “Anti-Racist Word of the Week” taught by various speakers from around the world. 

According to its website, the course is “designed to provide intellectual and moral building blocks to begin the transformative work of anti-racism in our students, on our campus, and in our broader communities.”  

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To gain one credit for the course,  students must “participate in small discussion groups, complete reflective writings, engage with written materials, and, importantly, craft thoughtful questions to be posed to our visiting speakers.”

In the first week’s lecture available online, Archbishop Wilton Gregory told students that dismantling racism is a “moral imperative” for all of them. Gregory tailored his message to his intended audience, the Catholic Church, and the majority Catholic student body at Notre Dame, by giving a call to action to address systemic issues.

In thevideo, Gregory said that “we know that there is systemic racism woven really into almost every dimension of the American institution.” He also condoned the idea of taking down historic monuments while urging students to change their hearts.

The second week’s lecture featured Nikole-Hannah Jones, who is an essayist for The New York Times 1619 Project. As of the time of publication, all of the lectures in the series thus far were publicly available online, except for the one given by Hannah-Jones. 

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The video for week three featured James Goodwin, publisher of The Oklahoma Eagle, where he “explores the history of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and its implications in today’s racially charged environment.”

Other topics in the series have included “Islamaphobia” and “Racial Wealth Gap.”

Campus Reform reached out to Notre Dame but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article: Jaime Christley