Anna Fisher – News Editor
Benedictine University held the fifth annual Teach-In on Social Justice with the theme of Antiracism, Public Health, and the Common Good. This was the first Teach-In to be virtual and many sessions had a theme molded around the pandemic.
“I was not only haunted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but what this pandemic has revealed to us,” said Dr. Shawnee Daniels-Sykes, an ethicist, professor, and nurse at the morning keynote, “In too many ways it contradicts what we proclaim that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God.”
Daniel-Sykes’ session focused on the drawbacks of a society that favors the individual over the community from the perspective of Catholic Social Teaching and the setting of healthcare disparities during the pandemic.
The Teach-In was created to be a day of learning and to provide ways for members of the Benedictine community to take action against injustice.
Concurrent sessions focused on issues like incarceration, trauma, reclaiming voice, and myths about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The afternoon keynote featured Lisa Benson, journalist and antiracism consultant who spoke about experiences around a lawsuit she filed at her workplace and its connections to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“I was curious about institutionalized racism. I was curious about understanding what was happening to me in my former career and that put me down this pathway of seeking knowledge and understanding,” she said.
The evening program, “This is America: Truths Through my Body” was hosted by storyteller and producer Dr. Ada Cheng and featured storytellers Jason Craige Harris, Jasminum McMullen, Diana Rodriguez, Sina Sam, and KJ Whitehead.