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Dismantling Structural Racism

Conversations with Holy Cross Alumni

At a moment when many students feel particularly compelled to activism that improves the well-being of Black and Brown people, and are searching for ways to channel that activism into long-term structural change, the McFarland Center offered three special summer opportunities to engage with young alumni who have become leaders in that work. 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.

July 14, 2020: Malik Neal ‘13, Director, Philadelphia Bail Fund

Malik Neal '13Malik 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.

Closed captions available Watch the video»

July 21, 2020: Rashaunda M. Tyson ‘04, Assistant Principal, University High School of Science & Engineering, Hartford

Rashaunda Tyson '04A 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.

Closed captions available Watch the video»

July 28, 2020: Jerry Dickinson ‘09, Associate Professor of Law, University of Pittsburgh

Jerry Dickinson '09Jerry 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.

Closed captions available Watch the video»


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.