Coming Soon this Fall: A Tale of Two Teams

I’m spending the day today researching and putting the final touches on a truly unique educational program coming up during the very first weekend after classes have begun in August: It is an overnight travel-immersion program in Chicago that looks at the city’s two major league baseball teams, the White Sox and the Cubs, through a critical lens conscious of things like race and socio-economic community development.

The bare bones of the design, thus far, is that we will spend about a 30-hour period together exploring the communities surrounding the Chicago White Sox on Chicago’s South Side and the Cubs on the North Side.

We’ll be sort of amateur ethnographers in that we’ll observe, and record, and pay particular attention to what the communities surrounding the clubs’ stadiums are like. Who lives in the areas adjacent to the stadiums? Who works there? Are there shops and restaurants or homes surrounding the stadiums?

The fun part—though no less serious from an academic standpoint—is that we’ll get to take our observations into the parks, themselves, for a White Sox game on Friday night, followed by a Cubs game the next day.

Like our trips into the communities we’ll be looking at things like, Who attends these games? Where do they work and live? How did they get to the stadium that day?

And what do any of our observations mean to the conversation about the role of race in the socioeconomic realities of our world?

I’m still nailing down details and logistics, but I wanted to get it out there now, as this will be a tough thing to advertise during that first crazy week of classes.

The broad logistics:

  • Depart on the South Shore Line Train at 12:59pm on Friday, August 24th.
  • The White Sox game that night starts at 7:10pm Central time.
  • The Cubs game the next day starts at 12:05pm Central Time.
  • We’ll be back in South Bend by 8:15pm on Saturday, August 25th.

Due to budget and time constraints space is extremely limited. We’ll only be able to accommodate 10-13 students, so if you’re interested, why don’t you shoot me an email ( and we can maybe start putting together a list of participants.

If you’re really bored this summer and you want to know more about what we’ll be thinking about, check out It’s Hardly Sportin’: Stadiums, Neighborhoods, and the New Chicago.

Or, if you don’t quite have enough time to read a book, try this article, from which I totally borrowed the title for the program, A Tale of Two Stadiums: Comparing the Economic Impact of Chicago’s Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular Field

Hope everyone is enjoying their summers. Can’t wait to see you all back here soon.

(Because summer is kind of boring on campus without students…)


Convos of Color: an MSPS blogging success

Another academic year has ended at Notre Dame. This means we look back and take stock in our successes and failures from the past year.

Convos of Color, a student content-driven blog about race and identity in its first full-length season, was a tremendous success for MSPS in 2011-2012.

Over 50 posts, authored by a diverse team of both undergraduate and graduate Notre Dame students, covered topics such as racial identity, Cam Newton’s tattoos, stepping out of your comfort zone, Catholic identity, Troy Davis, Affirmative Action, interracial marriage, Indian mascots, Halloween costumes, race in American sports, and Trayvon Martin, among many others.

Nine student bloggers volunteered to author their own original thoughts and content and MSPS can’t thank enough our 2011-2012 team:

Anne RoblesGabi HernandezThinh LeMike MercurioMC LarmeKony PhamArmani SuttonDaniel Wu, and Ben Kim.

The working mission for Convos of Color is simple:

Convos of Color is an MSPS blog about race, identity, power, and privilege.

Convos is dedicated to giving Notre Dame students a forum in which to generate productive conversation about #race, #identity, #power, and #privilege.

Posts address issues that relate both to the Notre Dame campus community and to the nation at large. With Convos, MSPS hopes to become a leader in new media initiatives regarding race and race relations in the fight for racial equity in America.

If you’re interested in writing for Convos of Color as a guest for the summer or as a team member next year, feel free to send a quick email to Toby at expressing your interest.

And be on the lookout for a 2012-2013 blogger application soon for more info on how to be a part of this really awesome collaborative project.