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Workshop Raises Racial Awareness for SNC, Marquette Students

A workshop series developed at St. Norbert now is raising awareness of racism among student participants at both SNC and Marquette University.

The series, created by the Cassandra Voss Center at SNC in partnership with The Privilege Institute, seeks to raise awareness about racism and the multiple ways people come into contact with it on a daily basis.

“We’ve had a good partnership with The Privilege Institute, which helped us with the 2019 Loving Justice: Asserting Human Dignity & Forging Bold Action Symposium. The workshop is a continuation of the dialogue about some pressing issues society is facing,” says Billy Korinko ’09, director of the Cassandra Voss Center.

Korinko says the workshop was developed for St. Norbert faculty and staff to attend over the summer, but now it’s being taken by students at St. Norbert and Marquette University. After the late spring protests around racial justice, it seemed like a good time to launch the workshop and continue to build on the previous work done, Korinko adds. 

The six-week virtual workshop allows students to learn more about anti-racism and to analyze their own ideas about race and racism.

“The purpose is to help participants develop a deeper understanding of systemic racism and its manifestations on both a structural and interpersonal level,” Korinko says. “Ultimately, this work is aimed at developing skills to equip [students] to work toward racial justice.”

A colleague of Korinko’s at Marquette heard about the workshop being offered to St. Norbert students and asked if Marquette students could attend as well.

“Thanks to Zoom, it’s possible. It’s cool to see the students interact with each other,” he says, adding that 150 students from both schools are enrolled. “While both schools are Catholic, they exist in a different context: Marquette in a major city while St. Norbert is located in a smaller city. That brings a rich context to the discussions.”

The workshop eventually may be opened to the community, including to St. Norbert alumni. “The Cassandra Voss Center creates opportunities for the St. Norbert community and beyond,” Korinko says. “We would really like to scale up this workshop so more people can participate in it and have a dialogue around racism.”

The Cassandra Voss Center is focused on engaging conversations on key issues, and Korinko says more discussions and education on racism and racial justice are definitely in the center’s future.

Oct. 29, 2020