The Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit at Xavier, with the blessing of the President and Provost of Xavier, was founded in August 2018. The Center is the brainchild of it's founding director, Dr. David W. Robinson-Morris.
Focusing our efforts on impacting policy, changing practice, and uplifting the human spirit within the areas of racial equity, PK-12 educational equity, criminal justice reform, and environmental justice, the Center serves as a present point of intersection that brings together 95 years of our history at Xavier working to combat and dismantle oppressive systems, triumphing in the face of adversity, reclaiming our shared humanity, and educating human beings who go out into the world ready to do justice always and in all ways. We accomplish this through transformative community engagement, research, and activism.
Growing the initial institutional investment of $5,000 to garner over $750,000 from private donors and foundations, the Center is quickly gaining a reputation as a site of equitable research, robust intellectual engagement, racial equity workshops, and a facilitator of generative and courageous conversations.
The Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit at Xavier University of Louisiana will serve as an anchor, magnet, beacon of hope, and catalyst for change reflecting and furthering our calling, as a Historically Black and Catholic university: to create a more just and humane society.
The Center will serve as an intellectual and physical convening place for research, for teaching, for community engagement, and for debate on issues related to race-based inequities, social identity production, and power relations that are embedded in our intellectual programs and across academic disciplines. As such, the Center will explore and work to eliminate political, social, and systemic inequities within systems and institutions.
The Center will come to be recognized as a convener for groups struggling in their own reconciliation as well as a force for good in the city, in the region, and in the nation through trainings of various kinds (ex: de-escalation, restorative justice, civil protest, and Catholic social teaching).
The Center will become a locus for individuals and groups seeking to put forth new theories and to verify others by studying, advocating, and engaging in empirically verifiable social change work.
The Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit at Xavier University of Louisiana is a vibrant and critical research, teaching, and public engagement initiative. The Center’s mission is to engage, to support, and to promote innovative thinking in a multiplicity of contexts and across disciplines regarding race, class, systemic inequities; and a faith that does justice toward a better understanding of issues impacting modern societies and vexing the human spirit.
In keeping with the mission of Xavier, the Center organizes conferences, seminars, lectures, and community convenings that bring together relevant experts, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and community members with diverse interest and backgrounds.
I. Intellectual Engagement & Innovation
a. To explore systemic inequities, and develop and share proven tools that can assist in shifting dominant narratives, ideologies, and paradigms
II. Policy Research, Outreach & Activism
a. To foster and produce transformative interdisciplinary research that alters thinking and influences policy toward equity and justice
b. To engage with the academic community, community groups, government, and national organizations that seek to advance equity and justice through research and policy agendas
III. Leadership Capacity Building & Cultural Change
a. To bolster and scaffold leadership capacity and ontological development through coalition building, convenings, leadership development, workshops, and training
b. To developing strategies that will serve as a catalyst for institutional and cultural change, and to work toward the closure of systemic gaps
IV. Faith and Social Justice
a. To explore and examine the ways in which our faith calls us to act justly, to love mercy, and walk humbly with our God in the world and obliges us to repair our society by practicing justice
b. To promote critical and engaged thinking about the role of faith in society, and organize public forums to encourage constructive dialogue