Conversations with Holy Cross Alumni
These moderated discussions identify structural barriers that disproportionately affect Black and Brown communities, explore actions that can help to close the racial gap, and help students think about how they can do the same.
Watch the complete conversations below.
Damon Hart ‘96 and Dominic Blue ‘98 on Investing in Racial Equity
March 9, 2021
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, youth empowerment, education and civic engagement. 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.
Ron Lawson ‘75 on the Homeless Crisis
February 8, 2021
Holy Cross alumnus Ron Lawson ‘75, Chief Operating Officer of Care for the Homeless, traces the history of homelessness in New York City and highlights the federal, state and city laws and policies that contribute to the problem. He also discusses the impact systemic racism and COVID have 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 in the 1990s. He has since built his career in operations, financial management, and consulting for nonprofits. Read about Lawson in the Holy Cross Magazine.
Malik Neal ‘13, Director, Philadelphia Bail Fund
July 14, 2020
Malik Neal is a founding member and director of the Philadelphia Bail Fund, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent the unnecessary jailing of low-income Philadelphians by posting bail and advocating for reform. He explains why the cash bail system is unfair and criminalizes poverty, how people of color are disproportionately penalized, and ways students can get involved.
Malik is joined by Dante Jones, a North Philly resident who was detained pretrial in Philadelphia’s jails, convicted of no crime other than an inability to pay for his freedom.
Rashaunda M. Tyson ‘04, Assistant Principal, University High School of Science & Engineering, Hartford
July 21, 2020
A secondary school educator and former New York City Teaching Fellow, Rashaunda Tyson will discuss why improving educational opportunities for Black and Brown students at the primary and secondary levels is critical to our future. This discussion will also look at the impact of the way that America funds public education and the range of challenges that educators are called upon to address.
Jerry Dickinson ‘09, Associate Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh
July 28, 2020
Jerry Dickinson is a law professor who specializes in constitutional law, property, and affordable housing law and policy. As a recent candidate for Congress, he advocated for equitable and inclusive housing, development of a federal community land trust fund, fair housing laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, and renters’ rights. He'll reflect on how such work can be done through scholarship, activism, and politics.
Also see our Playlist for Racial Justice to watch other McFarland Center programs exploring themes on racism and activism in America. See the College's Anti-Racism website for even more ways to engage.