3 Facts about Black Women and Depression



Depression is a massive health concern among African-Americans — particularly women — but mental health is rarely discussed in the African American community. Since mental health is such a taboo subject in the African-American community, we are the least likely group to be treated or to seek treatment for depression. We are also less likely than other groups to even acknowledge it as a serious problem because of the shame and embarrassment that it can cause.

Statistics report that:

  • Adult blacks are 20 percent more likely to report serious psychological distress than adult whites.
  • Adult blacks living below poverty are two to three times more likely to report serious psychological distress than those living above poverty.
  • Adult blacks are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than are adult whites.
  • And while blacks are less likely than whites to die from suicide as teenagers, black teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than are white teenagers (8.2 percent v. 6.3 percent)

In 2010, African American women reported feeling sad more than 1.6 times more than Non-Hispanic White women. Two of the criteria for major depression are a loss of interest or pleasure in things that used to be enjoyable and loss of energy. As a result,  African American women are 1.7 times more likely than White women to report that everything is an effort all of the time. So, African American women are more sad, experience less pleasure and expend great energy just to get thru the day. What a horrible way to live! The quality of life has to improve for African American women.

Fact: Depression is treatable.

Even with the large disparities in depression, the CDC finds that just 7.6 percent of African-Americans sought treatment for depression compared to 13.6 percent of the general population in 2011. Thus, African American women are suffering in silence and refusing to seek treatment. Psychotherapy is an option, but so are acupuncture, meditation, medication and dietary changes. There are various options to treat depression, and it may take more than one tactic to alleviate the symptoms.

Fact: You do not have to live with it.

Depression is an illness just like asthma. Would you go to work each day without your inhaler? No, you would utilize the resources that you have to maintain your health. So, why is seeing a counselor or getting prescribed anti-depressant medication any different?

Fact: There are African American mental health professionals and physicians that can assist you in your community.

Check your local listings for counselors, psychologists and social workers. Check the yellow pages, local psychological associations and websites in your area. Search the Association of Black Psychologists website and find your local chapter. Begin there to find African American psychologists that treat depression or other mood disorders.

Some St. Louis Teachers Address Ferguson With Lessons On Race


October 28, 2014 4:38 PM ET


Listen to the Story:
4 min 22 sec
Vincent Flewellen leads a lesson on Ferguson during his eighth-grade multicultural studies course at Ladue Middle School.

Vincent Flewellen leads a lesson on Ferguson during his eighth-grade multicultural studies course at Ladue Middle School.

Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

This story is a consolidated version of a three-part series by St. Louis Public Radio that profiles how issues of race and class sparked by Ferguson are being discussed in St. Louis-area schools.

It was early September and Vincent Flewellen had just wrapped up his day teaching at Ladue Middle School, in an affluent suburb about 13 miles south of where protests erupted in Ferguson.

Flewellen was in a good mood, but he knew he could be in for a difficult night.

Less than four weeks had passed since Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown, sparking countless protests.

Students in Missouri were enjoying the last few days of summer vacation when the protests broke out. For some teachers around St. Louis, the events in Ferguson presented a chance to teach about race in a new, more meaningful way.

According to a report by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, the St. Louis region is the sixth most segregated metropolitan area in the country.

Flewellen, an African-American in his early 40s, was on his way to an event for teachers at Saint Louis University “to learn more about how to teach Ferguson. How to teach this whole ideal of racial understanding and racial healing,” he says.

On his way to the event, Flewellen was waiting in traffic.

“A car pulls up next to me, driven by this middle-aged, older white man, who then takes his hand, his right hand, and reaches it across his passenger seat in the shape of a gun,” he says.

Flewellen says the man then aimed his index finger at him and cocked his thumb like the hammer of a pistol.

“Bang, bang,” Flewellen says. “He does that like seven times to me. I’m just looking at him like in complete disbelief.”

Frustration coursed through Flewellen’s body. He thought about calling it a night.

But he didn’t.

He went on with the evening as planned, spending his time with teachers who want to untangle complicated issues of race and class.

Four weeks later, Flewellen is standing in front of his multicultural studies class.

He turns to a whiteboard where the day’s topic is written in big, blue letters.

“Ferguson,” Flewellen tells the class, “we’re going to continue with our conversations about race and racism in Ferguson.”

He then asks students to pair up and talk to each other about how they think life experiences might differ between white and African-American residents.

Miriam Sokora and Alivia Brock are sitting next to each other.

“I’ve never thought that I would be walking down the street and get pulled over by police saying, ‘What are you doing?’ ” Sokora says.

“As for me, I have to look around the street all the time,” Brock replies. “Since I’m black, I have to walk around the street and look for police officers. Sometimes I even have to put my hands up a little bit just to show I have nothing.”

“I think that’s sad,” Sokora says.

Flewellen says facilitating this type of conversation between his students helps him make sense of his own wounds.

“I think you either become bitter or you’re determined to bring about change,” he says.

But not all teachers are ready to take on issues of race and class.

“These conversations will become uncomfortable,” says Brian Hutchison, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, St. Louis.

Bernice King speaks with students at Riverview Gardens High School about nonviolence.

Bernice King speaks with students at Riverview Gardens High School about nonviolence.

Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

Hutchison has been helping area schools figure out what to do when students bring up Ferguson in class.

He says some teachers just want to change the subject.

“It’s a buffering mechanism, so that we don’t actually have to talk about something that’s difficult,” he says.

But the topic isn’t being ignored at Riverview Gardens High School, where about 60 teenagers took part in nonviolence training put together by the King Center.

Many students in this school live close to the shooting site.

As part of their final exercise, they formed small groups to talk about what could happen if a grand jury chooses not to charge the police officer involved.

Senior Elantra Jackson has a strong opinion.

“I’m not going to lie and say, ‘Everybody’s going to be like, oh, OK,’ ” she says. “There’s going to be some damage done to the city.”

To be clear, Jackson says she has no intention of taking part in any kind of violence.

But many students here think Wilson should be indicted, and facilitators ask them to plan a nonviolent response to whatever the grand jury decides.

Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest daughter, has visited the area four times since the shooting. She considers each of the students in this room an ambassador for nonviolence.

“My father was angry,” she says. “We call it righteous indignation. But he channeled that anger into something positive and constructive.”

And as the St. Louis region awaits the grand jury’s decision, administrators at the school hope that this training will help both students and the community handle whatever comes next.

Reflections of a Puerto Rican Teaching US Latina/o Literature in the Midwest


Reflections of a Puerto Rican Teaching US Latina/o Literature in the Midwest.


By: Marisel Moreno

Some years ago, a good friend and colleague intimated that he did not understand why so many of us academics – especially literature professors – take our jobs so seriously. After all, he said, “what we do isn’t that important.” At that moment his comment made sense to me, and in fact, helped me maintain a certain sense of perspective during those trying years of dissertation writing and pre-tenure stress. However, I’ve never been able to forget those words, and the more I think about it, the less I agree with the statement. After fifteen years teaching US Latino/a literature at a midwestern university, I am convinced that what we do matters much more than we care to admit. Allow me to explain.

Teaching U.S. Latina/o literature – whether diaspora Puerto Rican, Dominican-American, Salvadoran-American, Mexican-American, etc. – at an institution where the majority of the student body is white and middle/ upper class, has carried a significant responsibility. In many cases, I am the first  – and oftentimes the last -“Latina” (not to mention Puerto Rican) professor my students will have during their undergraduate career. Over the years some of my students have told me that I’m the first “Latina” they have gotten to know. A bigger number has confessed not knowing anything substantial about this heterogeneous group we call “Latina/os,” including reasons for migration or exile, or the legacy of (neo)colonialism, (neo)imperialism, and violence that characterize the histories of Latin American nations. Teaching U.S. Latina/o literature has allowed me to help them fill those gaps, to recognize the role that the United States has played in those histories – details that have been conveniently left out of school curricula – and eventually, obtain a better grasp of their own histories.

It isn’t a secret that literature, as Junot Díaz has said, is something that allows us to be “more human.” This is why I consider literature to be one of the best instruments to promote social transformation. We can spend an entire semester trying to explain to our students the complexity of the process of migration, but reading the works of Chicano poets Luis Rodríguez y Francisco X. Alarcón, or the poems of Puerto Rican Martín Espada, allows them to gain a deeper understanding of what migration means. We can try to explain what it is to be a migrant farmworker, but it won’t come close to the impact that the works of Puerto Rican author Fred Arroyo or Chicanos Tomás Rivera and Helena María Viramontes often have. We can try to explain the toll that racism and prejudice can take on individuals, families, and societies, but it suffices to read Piri Thomas’ Down These Mean Streets to gain a better understanding of these societal problems. We can try to teach about the repercussions of United States foreign policy in Latin America, but nothing compares to hearing the echoes of victims’ voices that we find in the poetry of Salvadoran William Archila and Guatemalan Víctor Montejo. In other words, literature is an instrument that allows us to better understand the “other” and ourselves; and it allows us to reflect and dialogue about topics that are typically controversial, uncomfortable, or even painful.  The increase in xenophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric following the 9/11 terrorist attacks have rendered U.S. Latina/o literature an instrument to promote understanding and social justice, both from the outside and among different U.S. Latina/o sub-groups.

Literature is a powerful tool in and of itself, but complementing it with service to the community exponentially increases its impact. For the last nine semesters, I have taught U.S. Latina/o literature courses with a community-based learning or service-learning component. This type of pedagogy bridges theory (class contents) and praxis (experience in the community), and usually promotes deeper learning. Depending where students perform their volunteer work, their experience can be comparable to a type of mini-immersion that forces the student to negotiate an “unfamiliar” environment. In other words, the experience forces them to break the bubble that college can be.

Given the demographic profile of our students, my CBL courses have fomented interaction, friendship, and solidarity, between my students and the local U.S. Latina/o community. Here in South Bend, this population is largely working class and of Mexican origin. Tutoring and mentoring pre-K to 12th grade children at La Casa de Amistad – a local non-profit organization that serves Latina/o families – has allowed my students to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges that (im)migrant families face in this country. Needless to say, the partnership between my classes and La Casa de Amistad has proven to be mutually beneficial. In fact, I venture to say that it is my students who have benefited the most as they have gained a perspective they did not have before. It’s not the same to read about undocumented migration than to befriend a child who has recently been separated from a parent due to deportation. It’s also not the same to read about the education gap among Latina/o children than to observe its roots and impact on the children. These kinds of situations force students to think critically about the social problems that minorities face, and their personal connections to people in the community add a sense of urgency that inspires them to do something about the inequality they witness.

Overall, one of the most common realizations my students experience throughout the semester – and which they record in class journals – is becoming aware of their privilege. But they also express their disappointment about not having studied any U.S. Latina/o literature or history in high school. Semester after semester they express their disbelief when they learn about all of the important facts and details that have been conveniently left out of their history lessons. Studying the history of each Latina/o group we cover (Harvest of Empire by Juan González is a staple in my courses) allows students to make connections between the role that the United States played in that history and the presence of each of those groups in this country today. In other words, the literature they’re exposed to and the work they do in the community serve to counteract the demonizing discourse about immigrants and Latina/os that the media continues to perpetuate.

There is a wealth of U.S. Latina/o literature available today, including a strong body of children’s literature. Latina/o children need to read these works. Non-Latina/o children also need to read these works. We can all do more work in our communities in order to teach Latina/o and non-Latina/o youth the importance of civic engagement. We are all parts of the same social fabric, and our words can help create unity. Literature is one of the best weapons we have against ignorance, prejudice, and injustice. Let’s use it.


marisel_morenoMarisel Moreno, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of US Latina/o Literature at the University of Notre Dame. Her book/ libro Family Matters: Puerto Rican Women Authors on the Island and the Mainland, was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2012. She has published articles on US Latina/o literature in several academic journals (Academia.edu). In 2011 she received the Indiana Governor’s Award for Service-Learning for her US Latina/o literature and CBL courses. Follow her on Twitter: @marisel_moreno


New Ventures


Iris Outlaw

by Iris Outlaw
    I have always viewed August as the end of the summer and beginning of new things to come. The preparation for the arrival of first year students, training of hall staff and departments gearing up to welcome everyone is integral to the existence of the University of Notre Dame and other educational institutions. We, Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), are focused on building community, which entails having a campus culture that is welcoming to all. The department provides opportunities for self-discovery, multicultural education, leadership development, and dialogue about the intersection of race and other individual identities. To assist students desiring to study abroad, they
may apply for our study abroad research scholarships that are offered in the fall and spring semesters.For those wanting to research domestic inequities, we have a domestic research scholarship as well.
     Per the Nigerian Igbo quote, “It takes a village to raise a child,” we believe it is imperative that a collaborative effort is needed to prepare Notre Dame students in becoming global citizens. If one functions in a silo, their perspective is limited and they are inhibiting their own development. Therefore we, the MSPS staff and our colleagues, challenge all students to seize the opportunity to possess an open heart, mind and spirit as you come to campus. We want you to have difficult conversations on topics such as race, gender identity issues, political stances. What you learn outside of the classroom can and will enhance your overall academic experience.
    MSPS is committed to providing opportunities for students to expand their knowledge base through our academic success and retention initiatives and programs. For those considering graduate school, research experience and presenting at conference is key to achieving this goal. Students wanting to participate in conversations on the how race impacts global and domestic issues should attend the variety of programs from the Interrace Forum to the MLK Study of Race Series, where you can interact with scholars in this area. For more information on activities sponsored by the office visit our website.
Feel free to contact our office by email: msps@nd.edu/  Twitter @msps nd/ or Facebook facebook.com/msps.nd/
    We wish you an exciting and fulfilling academic year.
Iris L. Outlaw
Iris L. Outlaw `90 MSA
Multicultural Student Programs and Services

White Privilege Conference-15 – A Journey of Transformation


photo 2 (2)After returning from the 15th annual White Privilege Conference, Emmanuel Cannady, Notre Dame student and Assistant Director of Outreach Services of the Gender Relations Center on campus, had this to say about his experience and that of the other Notre Dame students who attended the conference:

“From March 26-29, 2014, a seven-person Notre Dame delegation experienced the White Privilege Conference -15 (WPC-15) in Madison, WI.  It was a challenging and emotionally-draining experience for everyone; however, the conference allowed us all to investigate the breadth of our humanity.  As was written in the syllabus for the preparatory class titled Introduction to the Intersections of Privilege, “The goal for each participant is personal transformation: to leave the class and conference more aware of injustices and be better equipped with tools to disrupt personal, institutional and worldwide systems of oppression.”

20140327_183147In Blessed Basil Moreau’s charism for Holy Cross education, he calls the art of education “helping young people to completeness.”  As we strive to live by and uphold this at Notre Dame, you will see in excerpts of the students’ journals how their experiences at the White Privilege Conference have helped them toward completeness—through personal transformation, intellectual stimulation, professional networking and commitment to Notre Dame Community improvement.”20140327_183117 (1)

To read more about the conference and Emmanuel’s experience, check out this WPC-15 Journal Summary. And make sure to sign up for next year’s conference!


Julian Castro on Latino Civic Engagement


Lead by former Notre Dame professor Luis Fraga, Mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro engaged with a spirited Notre Dame audience genuinely, generously, and intelligently, in what felt more like a conversation with an old friend than a politician in a public space. Throughout the evening, Mayor Castro answered a series of questions ranging from how students might ensure they get the most out of their time at a prestigious university like Notre Dame to what was next for the urban landscape of his own hometown and his political aspirations. Afterwards, Mayor Castro continued to speak with individuals from the audience, addressing their concerns and even taking photos, too.

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Many thanks to the Building Bridges Lecture Series, the Institute for Latino Studies Transformative Latino Leadership Lecture Series, and the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy whose efforts and support were vital in seeing this event succeed.

Demetrius Murphy — A Winner of the Fall 2013 MSPS Study Abroad Scholarship


Demetrius Mexico

After returning from his experience studying abroad– and I can’t imagine the blustery Indiana weather helps much– Demetrius can’t quite seem to get Mexico out of his mind. Make sure to find out why by reading his reflection paper linked below!

Are you interested in studying abroad, too? If so, check out the MSPS website for more information!

Reflection Paper

Demetrius Mexico2


Announcing the 2014-2015 Frazier Thompson Scholars


The Black Alumni of Notre Dame, honoring the memory of our first graduate, Mr. Frazier Thompson ’47, began awarding $2,500 towards the student accounts of two undergraduate students in 1999. Since then, the financial commitment of alumni has generated revenue to permit the awarding of up to $5,000 per recipient for the 2012-2013 academic year. The goal of this scholarship has been to reduce the financial burden of seniors who have consistently demonstrated academic excellence, all the while contributing to the greater African American and Notre Dame communities.  This year, the esteemed recipients are as follows.


Delvin Anes of Waterbury, CT — Majoring in Accounting & Japanese

Alexaundria Barnes of Miami, FL — Majoring in Pre-Professional/Political Science

Christopher Brown of Stone Mountain, GA — Majoring in Political Science

Micah Burbanks-Ivey of San Jancito, CA — Majoring in Political Science and Economics

Deandra Cadet of Orange, NJ — Majoring in Political Science with a Minor in Peace Studies

Olivia Furman of Louisville, KY — Majoring in Africana Studies & ESS

Madelynn Green of Milwaukee, WI — Majoring in Political Science with a Minor in International Development Studies

Sabine Mosal of St. Johns, FL — Majoring in Science & Business with a Minor in International Development Studies

Lucy Negash of Vienna, VA — Majoring in Sociology with Minors in Journalism, Ethics, & Democracy and Business/Economics

Andre Smith of Davie, FL — Majoring in Science/ Pre-Professional

Wyatt Smith of New Orleans, LA — Majoring in Sociology & Pre-Med

Additionally, the 2014-2015 MBA graduate recipient will be Marj Betubiza, an undergraduate from UNC Chapel Hill.

Congratulations to all!

What is Black History Month


Black History Month


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Jackie Robinson. When the term ‘Black History Month’ comes to mind, these are a few of the names that most people think of. Growing up in the Deep South, Black History Month meant celebrating the people who most publicly advocated for civil rights and championed equality (i.e. the “Big Names” in African American History). But what about the African American pioneers that no one knows about? Or the modern day African American heroes that go unrecognized? For example, how many people know that Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr. was the first African American to walk on the moon? Or that Azie Taylor Morton was the first and only African American to hold the position of Treasurer of the United States of America? These are the types of African American heroes that fall through the cracks and are not properly recognized when February rolls around. Sure we say that Black History Month honors all African American achievements, but how many of these achievements do we really know about? I mean no disrespect to the household names such as King and Parks. They did a great service to African Americans and deserve to be held in the highest esteem. However, there are so many more African American achievers that are not being honored at all. So, for this Black History Month, I challenge you to research one little known African American hero, past or present, per day. You’ll be amazed at how much African Americans have done and you will come to deeper understanding and appreciation of Black History Month.


-Steven Waller

Class of 2016

Reflections from Abroad: Hansel Weihs and Ihuoma Nwaogwugwu


Recipients of the Fall/Summer 2013 MSPS Study Abroad Scholarships, Hansel Weihs and Ihuoma Nwaogwugwu have returned to Notre Dame. Undoubtedly though, their experiences and time away have afforded them an invaluable opportunity to examine their lives as students and the futures they hope to craft for themselves and others. Read their reflections below, and should you be interested in studying abroad yourself, check out the MSPS website for more information!

Behind Forbidden City

Hansel’s Reflection

Ih Pic

Ihuoma’s Reflection


Interrace Forum: The Power of Kindness


Did you miss the last Interrace Forum? No worries! The next one is scheduled for December 4th, 2013 and there’s plenty of discussion still to be had. Here are some pictures from the most recent forum where our guest speakers shared stories from their lives, the impact that these experiences had on those around them, and the ways their love and appreciation for others has been reoriented.

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Spring 2017

Happy New Year and Welcome back

Honoring Dr. martin Luther King, Jr. the evening  of January 16 was instrumental in establishing the tone of our reflections for the beginning of this semester. As participants in  the “Walk the walk” week activities, we ponder on the message of Associate Provost Page and words of Fr. Jenkins, who are we? and What is our role in creating an inclusive and welcoming campus? I thought this article was appropriate in considering who we are as a  community.

Stir – Fry Seminars & Consulting



I wrote this article as a way to help us when we view someone else as a ‘threat’ because they differ from how we see and experience the world. We often enter into a war of words in a battle for the truth.  Each of us trying to convince the other of how wrong they are and how right we are. The art of peace is never easy in times of war, but never more needed.

My hope is that these suggestions will help in finding worlds not yet discovered – yearning to be explored, understood and embraced. For hatred, often is about fearing what we do not understand.


This is not always easy, especially if we morally, spiritually, politically or religiously disagree with someone. Also, we might emotionally leave, even if we’re still physically in the room. So, the real the commitment here is our willingness to remain emotionally and physically present and open to working things out.


It is often convenient to stop listening when our truth is in competition with someone else’s truth. The hard part is being curious about what they mean and how their experiences impacted who they became and are today. This requires being sincerely curious about the social and personal contexts of someone’s life journey and how those experiences shaped their future life choices and perceptions.


There is a Buddhist saying: “To have no enemies, is to take no prisoners.” I think that what is being implied here is to notice how withholding some part of the truth will hold another hostage. Thus, creating resentment, bitterness and distrust. It’s not easy. As someone once said: “The truth is always there. Saying it out loud, now, that’s the hard part.”


Being in a relationship affords you the opportunity (if you’re willing to take it) to see who we are in the eyes of another. We seldom get to hear, let alone truly see, what we look like to others when we’re angry, frustrated, irritated, in love, in despair, feeling hopeless or lost. That is why reflecting on our actions/inactions and being open to hearing how others experience us is so critical to our growth and understanding of ourselves and our impact on others. As Anais Nin once wrote: “We do not see the world as it is, but rather who we are.”


There is an American Indian saying: “Today, is a good day to die.” One of the implications here is that we need to examine whether or not we are headed in the right direction and if we are harming others by our actions/inactions.

Perhaps, one of the reasons we have such a hard time apologizing and taking responsibility is because we seldom witness that quality in our leaders and from our institutions.

Maya Angelou once wrote: “I may not remember what you said or what you did, but I will l always remember how you made me feel.”


So often, change is viewed as having to lose something, rather than as an opportunity to enhance and enrich our lives. Transformation is defined as a change in nature, form or character.

To create trust and community, we must be willing to transform our goals, ourselves, our communities and our institutions when the need arises. Change is a healthy and necessary part of nature and science and in all relationships.

As Amelia Earhart once shared:  “The most difficult decision is just to act. The rest is just tenacity.”

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I have attended several of his sessions at conferences and wanted to share his perspective with the University.

If you want to participate in conversations, visit MSPS Facebook site for upcoming events. February 15, MSPS will host a panel Sports and Social Activism: Fame, Controversy , & Impact  in Montgomery Auditorium. For more information email: msps@nd.edu or call 574-631-6841


Iris Outlaw `90 MSA



A Reflection for Christmas Break & Rejuvenation

Interfaith prayer service

Interfaith Prayer Service – November 14, 2016 – Matt Cashore, photographer

The last final for the semester has been taken, bags packed and now you are on your way home, to friends, relatives or wherever the next four weeks will take you. B-R-E-A-T-H-E.  It seems like forever since you could just be, sit in solitude and ponder how you feel, what has occurred over the past five months. How have you evolved? Or are you the same person who stepped on campus in August?  If you are, why hasn’t there been a change? Or should there have been one?

Advent began four Sundays prior to Christmas. During Advent Season, we are called to pray and reflect. Our community has been fractured by many issues, we are called to be one and the “keepers and protectors” of our sisters and brothers.  How this is to be accomplished is the challenge. Often, it is believed that the powers that be should be the driving force to rectify the ills. In reality, everyone is charged to address the inequities, disenfranchisement and establishing an environment where every community member is felt valued, appreciated, safe and welcome.

Fr. John began the call acknowledging the divide that emerged in our community because of the contiguous election year. He stated we must work toward the common good which includes having critical dialogue that respects the dignity of all persons. During this time, I ask for each of you to determine your strategy to contribute to his request.

The 2017 Spring Semester begins on the National Holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The interfaith prayer service will be in the Main Building at 11:00 p.m Monday, January 16. The second Walk The Walk Week begins the week of January 22.  Multicultural Student Programs and Services will host RAPtivist Aisha Fukushima on January 23 and co-sponsor Citizen author Claudia Rankine on January 26. RAptism is a global hip hop project highlighting how culture contributes to the universal efforts for freedom and justice by challenging apathy with awareness, ignorance with intelligence, and oppression with expression. These of two of several events occurring for more information and listing of other activities check the 2017 Walk the Walk Week site.  Both speakers compliment the fall Solidarity for Racial Justice campaign. MSPS’ Spring 2017 MLK Study of Race speakers will continue the discussion of social activism and the various forms it can take from the kneeling of Colin Kaepernick to demonstrations on college campuses and in high schools. Information will be shared on the MSPS website and Facebook page, as well as in our weekly announcements.  Feel free to contact the office either by calling or email for more information. We hope you will take advantage of these opportunities to have the critical dialogues that Fr. Jenkins referenced during the November 14 interfaith prayer service.

Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.


Iris L. Outlaw

Iris L. Outlaw `90 MSA


Solidarity for Racial Justice & Hispanic Heritage Month


Honoring and respecting humanity is integral to living the mission of the Congregation of Holy Cross and our faith. With the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops designating Friday, September 9th as a Day of Prayer for peace, the Center for Social Concerns and Multicultural Student Programs and Services called for the Notre Dame Community and Nevada fans to join us in standing for Solidarity for Racial Justice.  More than one hundred and seven faculty, alumni, administrators, graduate and undergraduate students and campus visitors processed from Geddes Hall to the Jesus statute with the inscription “Come to Me” ending at Father Sorin’s statute.  Victims of the senseless violence that has plagued our Nation over the past two years were lamented throughout the thirty minute service. Thank you to those who joined our Solidarity for Racial Justice campaign. During the remainder of the fall semester, you are invited to attend events sponsored by numerous departments in support of the campaign. The next is the Book Club, where we will read Citizen by Claudia Rankine.  If you are interested in join the club, contact Kyle Lantz at the Center for Social Concerns. You should note that Ms. Rankine is scheduled to visit campus January 2017.


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Thank you to the companies, Notre Dame Departments and DC of ND clubs for participating in the 2016 MSPS Picnic. The afternoon was filled with good music, performances and meeting new friends and connecting with old ones. Congratulations to the winners of the numerous door prizes provided by PWC, Accenture, and KPMG.

Diane Correct Spelling

On September 21st MSPS’ first Hispanic Heritage event, the Interrace Forum, focused on Latinas in the Media: Stereotypes and Critiques. The attendees will be challenged to think more critically about the messages sent by media.  The first event of the MLK Study of Race Series is the Diane Guerrero Lecture. Ms. Guerrero, actress in Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, will talk about her immigration reform advocacy work and growing up with undocumented and later deported parents. Please welcome Ms. Guerrero at 7:00 p.m. in DeBartolo 102 on September 26. As part of our Diversity in the Arts initiative, MSPS is sponsoring a dinner and theater trip on November 11 to see Hamilton in Chicago. Students will be eligible to enter the lottery to purchase tickets by attending designated events. Ms. Guerrero’ lecture is the first opportunity, the second will be October 10 at the lecture featuring Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, professor and director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise at the Ohio State University.  Other opportunities will be noted in the MSPS newsletter. Tickets will only be sold via the lottery process.   If you have any questions, please feel to contact the office by emailing: msps@nd.edu or calling 574-631-6841.

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events.


Iris Outlaw ` 90 MSA