Religion, Racism, and Need For Community

NEWBURGH – Through the combined efforts of Mount Saint Mary College’s Dominican Scholars of Hope and the Writing Center, the Mount community gathered virtually to reflect on the sin of racism and discover ways to cultivate unity.

“Visio Divina and Reconciling Race: Writing to Our Common Humanity” was part of the Knight Reading program, where the Mount campus engages in academic discussion on a shared literature experience. Currently, students, faculty, and staff are reading Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, and Identity by Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo.
Visio Divina, Latin for “divine seeing,” is prayer through contemplation of art. The event used scripture, excerpts from Tell Me Who You Are, personal reflection writing, and dialogue with peers to focus on the injustice of racism and the need for healing with God and the community.

The event was hosted by Thomas Sullivan of Monroe, N.Y, a Dominican Scholar of Hope and Criminology major; and Gina Evers, director of the Writing Center.

Rooted in the values of the Judeo-Christian and Dominican heritage of the college, the Dominican Scholars of Hope is a nonacademic living and learning community for highly motivated Mount students. Following in the footsteps of St. Dominic de Guzman, the scholars are steeped in the Dominican tradition of service. They have donated thousands of dollars to local charities and spent many hours volunteering in the local community. They strive to follow the four pillars of Dominican life: study, spirituality, service, and community. The program is spearheaded by Charles Zola, assistant to the president for Mission Integration, director of the Mount’s Catholic and Dominican Institute, and associate professor of Philosophy.

The Writing Center sponsors a variety of events for students throughout the year. The center’s tutors assist Mount students in all stages of the writing process, including brainstorming and organizing ideas; structuring sentences, paragraphs, and essays; strengthening argumentation; incorporating research; appropriate systems of citation; and improving grammar and style.

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