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Events at the McFarland Center

Spring 2021

Repairing the Fabric of Our Nation

The McFarland Center will be developing programs that engage the community in exploring the causes of our multilayered political crisis, the fragmentation of American politics and society, and how to rebuild. Please check back soon.

Darkened image of the U.S. Capitol amid rising smoke and protestors, police and Trump banners crowding its steps and landings. Photo: Leah Millis/ReutersComing to Terms: America on the Brink

Friday, January 8, 2021, 3:30 p.m. EST

Recent efforts to undermine the presidential election and peaceful transfer of power, culminating in Wednesday's riot at the U.S. Capitol, have been devastating to witness. To begin to address this national crisis, one first step is to come together as a community to talk honestly about what's happened, who's responsible, and where we go from here. This Zoom community event moderated by Thomas M. Landy, Director of the McFarland Center, provides space for Holy Cross faculty, students and staff to process the events of Jan. 6 and offer their perspectives.

Rebuilding Democracy From the Classroom Out

Tuesday, January 12, 2021, 1 p.m. EST

In small group discussions, Holy Cross faculty strategize about pedagogy and action in our shared work as educators to help each other teach effectively in light of what we see in our country. What does this moment ask of us as faculty members and educators, and how can we engage in sustained conversations on democracy, citizenship and justice over the spring semester and beyond?


Upcoming Events

All events will be held remotely via Zoom. Registration required. Many events will be recorded and made available for viewing on our Listen and Learn page.

Dismantling Structural Racism: Ron Lawson ‘75 on the Homeless Crisis

Ron Lawson '75Monday, February 8, 2021, 4 p.m. EST
Open to the Public. Register for the Webinar»

Holy Cross alumnus Ron Lawson ‘75, Chief Operating Officer of Care for the Homeless, will talk about the history of homelessness in New York City and the federal, state and city laws and policies that contribute to the problem. He also will discuss the impact systemic racism has had on the homeless crisis. Lawson worked as a financial analyst and manager for some of the biggest firms on Wall Street before finding himself homeless. Laid off during the recession in the early 1990s, he spent six months without a job or home before he was recruited to work for NYC mayor David Dinkins’ reelection campaign. He then re-built his career in operations, financial management, and consulting for nonprofits. Read more about him in the Holy Cross Magazine. Part of our Conversations with Alumni on Dismantling Structural Racism.

Saving the Planet Cost-Effectively

Joseph AldyWednesday, February 17, 2021, 4 p.m. EST
Open to the Public. Register for the Webinar»

Economist Joseph E. Aldy, Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, draws from the theory and practice of carbon pricing and pollution markets to explain how it works around the world and to explore the potential design of U.S. climate change policy. A Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar, Aldy is also a University Fellow at Resources for the Future, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In 2009-2010, he served as the Special Assistant to the President for Energy and Environment at the White House.  

Campus Fishbowl: COVID-19 and the Ethics of Vaccines

Monday, February 22, 2021, 4 p.m. EST
Open to Holy Cross Students, Faculty and Staff. Register for the Discussion»

Reaching a threshold of “herd immunity” will be key to suppressing COVID-19 and resuming more normal operations in our businesses and institutions around the world. But what does the rollout of the vaccination look like in the U.S. and globally, and what ethical considerations are made in developing the policies and protocols for administering it? Who can get the vaccine, and who is required to take it? Do we have a moral obligation to be vaccinated? Should Holy Cross require students to be vaccinated? Join a fishbowl discussion featuring Rev. William Stempsey, S.J., and Jameliah Shorter-Bourhanou (Philosophy), Geoffrey Findlay (Biology), Denis Kennedy (Political Science), Mary Doyle Roche (Religious Studies), moderated by Thomas M. Landy, Director, McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture. Part of a series on Truth, Skepticism, Complexity: Thinking in a Post-Truth Age.

Deaf Catholics Shaping the Church Today

Lana PortolanoStephanie ClarkWednesday, February 24, 2021, 4 p.m. EST
Open to the Public. Register for the Webinar»

Deaf people have created vibrant communities around the world, including active faith communities that contribute to a globally diverse Church. How do Deaf Catholics use language, community and culture to experience the faith? Lana Portolano, author of the newly published "Be Opened: The Catholic Church and Deaf Culture" (CUA Press, 2020) and Professor of English at Towson University, Maryland, joins Holy Cross Deaf Studies Professor Stephanie Clark, an expert on Deaf culture, to explore the intersection of Catholic life and Deaf culture. ASL and voice interpretation will be provided. Part of the McFarland Center's initiative on Catholics & Cultures.

Public Health Reporting in a Pandemic of Disinformation

Caroline ChenMonday, March 1, 2021, 7 p.m. EST
Open to Holy Cross Students, Faculty and Staff. Register for the Meeting»

Reporter Caroline Chen covers health care for ProPublica. She is currently reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. Previously, she worked at Bloomberg News, where her coverage included the unraveling of blood test maker Theranos and the 2014 Ebola outbreak. In this talk, she considers the role of journalists to provide good information and combat disinformation, especially in an environment where science and public health have become politicized. Part of a series on Truth, Skepticism, Complexity: Thinking in a Post-Truth Age.

Elvira, The Immigration Play and Workshop

Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Performance & Q&A: 5:30 p.m. EST, Open to the Public.
Workshop: 7 p.m. EST. Registration Forthcoming.

Watch an online live staged play about immigration and family separation on the Mexico-US border, based on the true story of Elvira Arellano, an undocumented immigrant who was sheltered in churches for over a year. Following the performance, Arellano will speak to students and Director Jessica Carmona, with Si Se Puede Productions, will offer an oral history workshop for students and their families to tell their stories. Presented by Latin America, Latinx & Caribbean Studies with support from the McFarland Center.

The Destruction of Images (and Images of Their Destruction)

Aaron TugendhaftMonday, March 8, 2021, 4 p.m. EST
Open to the Public. Registration to come.

Aaron Tugendhaft, author of Idols of ISIS: From Assyria to the Internet (University of Chicago Press, 2020), explores the power of images and the politics of iconoclasm. From Assyrian palace reliefs to videos of the destruction of images by ISIS, Tugenhaft examines this destruction (and images of it) with regard to religious and cultural pluralities, drawing connections from the ancient past to today. He teaches humanities at Bard College Berlin. The talk is presented in conjunction with the Cantor Art Gallery and its exhibition, Kevork Mourad: Memory Gates, on view March 4-April 11, 2021.

Dismantling Structural Racism: Damon Hart ‘96 and Dominic Blue ‘98 on Investing in Racial Equity

Damon Hart '96Dominic Blue '98Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 4 p.m. EST
Open to the Public. Register for the Webinar»

In 2020, Holy Cross alumni Damon P. Hart ‘96 and Dominic Blue ‘98 joined a coalition of Black and Brown executives from Massachusetts' leading corporations to form the New Commonwealth Racial Equity and Social Justice Fund to support Black and Brown communities in Boston and across the Commonwealth. The fund provides resources to non-profits to dismantle systemic racism in policing and criminal justice, health care, economic opportunity, and education. Hart, who was a political science major and starting forward on the basketball team at Holy Cross, is Executive Vice President and Deputy Chief Legal Officer of Liberty Mutual Insurance. Blue, who was a sociology major and co-captain of the football team, is now Head of MassMutual Strategic Distributors. Co-sponsored with the Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics and Society, this event is part of our Conversations with Alumni on Dismantling Structural Racism.

Conference: The Intelligentsia in Russia: Spiritual and Moral Values

March 13-14, 2021
Open to the Public. Registration Forthcoming.

In preparation of their edited volume, "The Intelligentsia in Russia: Myth, Mission, Metamorphosis," Olga Partan, Associate Professor of Russian at Holy Cross, and Professor Sibelan Forrester of Swarthmore College will convene the book's contributors to present and solicit feedback on their draft work. The volume offers a multidisciplinary approach to addressing spiritual and moral missions of the Russian Intelligentsia, tracing its evolution over time from the 18th century to the post-Soviet era.