By Riley Morrison ’16
For this year’s Summit on Human Dignity, Beyond Colorblind, Brophy will host a variety of keynote speakers, from children of historical civil rights figures to modern leaders in the immigration debate.
The Summit, beginning March 3 and ending two weeks later on March 14, will explore racism and its effect on the global, national and local scale.
The first speaker, Cheryl Brown Henderson, is the daughter of Oliver L. Brown, who filed the famous civil case Brown vs. the Board of Education that lead the integration of schools.
“She does a lot of incredible work,” said Assistant Principle for Ministry Mr. Christopher Calderon, S.J. “We’re really fortunate to have… someone part of a movement that changed education as we know it in the states.”
Another guest, Jose Magaña, will be speaking on his own experiences with race, as well as immigration in Arizona.
Mr. Magaña, a supporter of the Dream Act, grew up in Arizona undocumented. Despite this, he was valedictorian of his high school class.
He went on to ASU, participating in speech and debate where he eventually ranked fifth in the nation and later continued to Georgetown Law School.
“His story was used by President Obama and other members of Congress who are lobbying in support of the Dream Act,” said Mr. Ryan Hubbell. “There is a need for such an act to be passed, because it would allow people like Jose access to a better and more affordable education.”
A third keynote speech will be given by a panel of Brophy faculty, staff and administration. The goal of this panel is to make sure that the ideas presented take permanent hold in the minds of the students.
“Sometimes it can feel really distant,” Mr. Calderon said. “It can leave campus and never come back. This way we can look at ourselves as part of the solution.”
The OFJ staff said they believe that students may better respond to the message of the Summit if it continues to be broadcast for the remainder of the year, and years to come.
“This keynote was created to respond at a hyper local level,” Mr. Hubbell said, and to stay “in the community that we’re all involved in from year to year.”
Scheduling with other speakers continues, but because of the year, many are booked and unable to give presentations.
“With the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech” Mr. Calderon said, “there’s been a resurgence of awareness, which is excellent. But what’s happened is, a lot of people who work towards civil rights are in high demand.”
Despite this, the Summit will go forward as planned, retaining the same time frame and topic.
“Race is a factor, race is real,” Mr. Hubbell said. “It’s ever present in our society and it does affect a lot of things. We want to acknowledge that, and use that as part of our decision making process going forward.”