Nuns fight social issue

first_imgWhen it was announced that the Super Bowl would take place in Indianapolis this year, a group of nuns at Saint Mary’s got excited — not because of the football game, but because of the opportunity it presented. Sr. Ann Oestreich and nuns from 11 congregations across Indiana and Michigan saw the close location of the Super Bowl as an opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking. “Usually when there’s a major sporting event in a city, trafficking incidents go up,” Oesteich said. “So, at sporting events like the Olympics or the World Cup, there’s always a lot of organizing to keep the incidents of trafficking down.” Oestreich, co-chair of the Coalition for Corporate Responsibility for Indiana and Michigan (CCRIM), said the group works to improve the social and sustainability issues in companies within which they invest. Their current focus is on hotels. “A lot of the times, traffickers can come into hotels and operate out of there without being noticed,” Oestreich said. Oestreich said the coalition teamed up with enforcement officials, the attorney general, people who own safe houses and people doing work with immigrants and refugees in order to keep incidents of human trafficking during the Super Bowl to a minimum. “We wanted to work with hotels to educate their staffs so they could recognize the signs of trafficking and take safe and responsible action when they thought that it might be occurring within their hotel,” she said. The group contacted 200 hotels within a 50-mile radius of Lucas Oil Stadium, she said. Of the 200 hotels contacted by the group, 45 said they had previously held training with their staff, seven asked the coalition for help to set up training for the Super Bowl and 99 asked for the local contact list and information about an industry-wide code of conduct against trafficking. “We’re really very grateful to the hotel managers who talked with us, worked with us, took our materials and are on the lookout for traffickers, especially this weekend in Indianapolis,” she said. However, the initiative runs deeper than making phone calls and delivering packets, Oestreich said. “The other part of this initiative … that is just as important as contacting the hotels, is the prayer part of it,” she said. On Jan. 11 — National Human Trafficking Awareness Day — the sisters held a prayer service at Saint Mary’s. The Sisters of the Holy Cross also sent information about this initiative to their fellow sisters around the world, so they could pray in solidarity. Oestreich said the coalition also published a prayer card with an image of Saint Josephine Bakhita on its front. Bakhita was a victim of human trafficking herself. “The sisters from these 11 congregations and a lot of others who joined with us from other places in the states and actually from around the world have been saying the prayer to end human trafficking every day from Jan. 12, and we’ll say it right up to Super Bowl Sunday,” she said. Despite highlighting a more serious side of the Super Bowl, Oestreich said she wants all Super Bowl fans to have a fun time on Sunday. “We’d really like for [the Super Bowl] to be a great event for Indianapolis and for the people who go, and we’d like them to have a real celebration without the exploitation that’s part of trafficking,” she said.last_img read more

Dillon is ready to rally

first_imgAll the excitement and emotion of Notre Dame football’s home opener will be on fully display Thursday night as Dillon Hall hosts its annual pep rally.   The Dillon pep rally will take place on South Quad at 7:30 p.m., bringing together students and fans to enjoy music and skit comedy in anticipation of the football team’s clash with Purdue this coming Saturday. Dillon pep rally organizer James Baker said the event will be separate from the official football pep rally this year, despite past collaboration between the two rallies. The Irish football team will celebrate its 125th anniversary this Friday in front of the Knute Rockne Memorial Gym, Baker said. Baker said holding the Dillon pep rally without the football team spurred planners to rethink the event’s focus. “I think the separation will create a little bit of a different flavor,” Baker said. “You get a lot of people on Friday nights who are fans of the football team, alumni who aren’t going to be there on a Thursday night. I think the crowd will be different this year, so we’re going to cater the event toward students more than toward families who come out for the rally.” Baker said this year’s rally will feature Irish dancing, an appearance by the Notre Dame Pom Squad and comedic performances from residents of Dillon.  Positive reviews of a student rendition of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” at last year’s pep rally also led to the inclusion of more music-based material, Baker said. “Even people at the back of the rally who couldn’t hear the words could still sing along and have a good time,” Baker said. “So, I think we’re going to continue that theme and incorporate more musical aspects into the event.” The pep rally is Dillon’s signature event, bringing together Notre Dame students to express excitement for the year’s football season accumulated over long months of waiting, Baker said.   “In past years, there has been tons of excitement and expectation going into the first home game,” Baker said. “I think this event definitely commemorates that excitement.” Baker said he and other students from Dillon began planning the pep rally earlier this summe, and have held numerous creative thinking and rehearsal sessions since returning to school. He said planners of last year’s pep rally viewed the event as largely successful, with the only true difficulties coming from a sound system malfunction and the day’s scorching heat. Baker encouraged all Notre Dame students to attend this year’s pep rally, promising a memorable and lighthearted experience. “We’re going to have a live band, really good performers and a ton of great laughs,” Baker said. “It’s going to be a really good time.”last_img read more

Brazilian band visits campus

first_img40 members of the Brazilian youth band Meninos do Morumbi arrived on campus Tuesday to visit the University and perform during the halftime show on Saturday at the Notre Dame-Stanford football game. In English, Meninos do Morumbi means “Kids of Morumbi,” the neighborhood in São Paulo, Brazil, where the band is based. The students will remain on campus until Sunday and are lodging at the Sacred Heart Parish Center. According to the Notre Dame Band website, in 2011, 66 members of the Notre Dame band toured Brazil and performed for Meninos do Morumbi in São Paulo, the country’s largest city and Dr. Ken Dye, director of bands, said he enjoyed the visit to Brazil. “They were very gracious hosts and shared their exciting music with our band,” Dye said. The band later invited the youth band to Notre Dame to perform and experience campus life. Dye is looking forward to the interaction between the Notre Dame Band members and the young performers from Brazil. According to their website, Meninos do Morumbi is a social project that gives youth an alternative to delinquency, violence and drugs through music. “We attend around 2,000 children and young from 22 slums of São Paulo,” Ana Paula Costa, the band’s spokeswoman,said. According to Costa, Meninos do Morumbi has had 14,000 youth participants thus far. Musician and current director Flávio Pimenta founded the band in 1996. “I originally invited children from the slums and poor communities found begging on the streets of my neighborhood to teach music in my studio in my house,” Pimenta said. “The idea was not and is not charity.” According to Pimenta, the band has greatly impacted the students’ lives. “Not only the music, but the experience of good values. We are a place for good values,” Pimenta said. According to a press release, the group provides an escape from situations of personal and social risk through many expressions. “We offer them a range of activities in the areas of culture, music, arts, education and sports,” Costa said. The band has performed for former U.S. President George W. Bush as well as singer Madonna, according to Costa. They have also performed in the United Kingdom and France. The band’s style of music interprets songs of Brazilian and African folklore. According to Costa, the youth play music from Brazilian genres including jongo, maracatu, funk and samba. Sandra Teixeira, a Notre Dame Portuguese professor originally from Brazil, is excited for the band’s visit. “The Portuguese and Brazilian studies program is very excited about this incredible opportunity,” Teixeira said. “The visit will share an important aspect of Brazilian culture, as well as our love for music and dance, with the entire Notre Dame community.” Meninos do Morumbi will participate in many events throughout Notre Dame’s campus. The band is holding a performance today and a Brazilian instrument and dance workshop at the Ricci Band Rehearsal Hall from 8 to 9 p.m. Thursday, the Brazil and Portuguese Language Clubs of Notre Dame will host a welcome reception and social hour in the ballroom of Lafortune Student Center from 3:30 to 5 p.m. “Besides having the unique opportunity to watch a vibrant and culturally infused show, students will be able to witness a very successful story of the determination and talent exemplified by these kids and mentors,” Teixeira said.last_img read more

Republicans, Democrats compete for Senate majority

first_imgThirty-three seats are up for grabs in the United States Senate during this election, but Notre Dame professors are still not convinced the Republican challenge to the Democratic majority will be enough to earn GOP dominance in tight races around the country. The Democratic majority in the current Senate is slim, with just 51 seats to the Republican’s 47. Political science professor Geoffrey Layman predicted the fight for the Senate majority would be closer than originally anticipated this year. “I do expect the Republicans to challenge the Democratic majority, but I think it will be very close,” Layman said. “I think six months or a year ago, there was sort of an expectation that the Republicans would almost certainly gain the majority because of the big seat gains in 2010 in the House, less so in the Senate.” Compared to 2010, when Republican candidates – especially those from the Tea Party – enjoyed sweeping success in the House of Representatives, Layman said 2012 is more favorable for the Democratic Party. In the past two years, the nation has seen slow improvements in the economy and a more positive national attitude toward the Affordable Care Act than when it was first proposed. “I think it is certainly a better year than 2010, which was an awful year for Democrats,” he said. However, more of the seats up for reelection have traditionally been held by Democrats and, with only a few states to swing for a Senate majority, the GOP has been fighting hard in election season. Twenty-three Democratic seats are on the ballot, as opposed to 10 Republican. Layman cited Missouri, Virginia and Florida as examples of states where Democrats are trying to cling to a Senate seat despite tough opposition from Republican candidates. Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Sen. Bill Nelson in Florida are both Democratic incumbents trying to keep their jobs, while the Virginia seat is open to new challengers from both parties after the retirement of incumbent Sen. Jim Webb. “A lot of those seats that the Democrats have to defend, a fair number of them are in red states or at least states where the Republicans are very competitive,” Layman said. Political science professor Peri Arnold also pointed to close races in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Even Indiana, traditionally a Republican state, has become a more spirited battle this year. “The fact that Indiana is contentious is a signal that the Republicans are doing less well than they expected to do originally,” Arnold said. As they make their decisions, voters’ concerns in the Senate races mirror the most important issues in the presidential race, Arnold said. “They’re worried about the economy and economic growth and jobs … so that’s a major pitch, saying, ‘Vote for me, I’ll contribute to a better economy,’” he said. “It isn’t like elections are rifle shots, one issue, one concern. But certainly the economy creates a climate.” Layman also said the economy was the most important issue for voters in 2012. However, he said some states have seen other significant conversations come up in debate. “The feasibility of national health care and sort of the size and role of the federal government have been the big issues,” he said. “Then in a couple of key races like Missouri and Indiana, abortion has unexpectedly reared its ugly head.”last_img read more

Chipotle sales to benefit charity

first_imgStudents will be able to support a great cause while enjoying a tasty burrito Thursday when Saint Mary’s Dance Marathon hosts a giveback night at the Chipotle in Eddy Street Commons. From 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., 50 percent of the proceeds generated will benefit the Riley Hospital for Children when patrons bring in a voucher advertising the giveback. Dance Marathon vice president of marketing Kate Kellogg said students should take time out from studying for finals to visit the event. “It’s a good break from studying,” Kellogg said. “It’s a good way to give back to the community.” Kellogg said Dance Marathon chose to partner with Chipotle because of its close proximity to both the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses. “It’s easy access for students and freshmen who don’t have cars,” she said. “They can just take the trolley.” Although the Riley Hospital for Children is located in Indianapolis, it helps treat children of local families, and some of them attended the Dance Marathon family dinner last Friday. “It’s really neat to see that Riley doesn’t just treat children from Indianapolis, but children from all over,” Kellogg said, “[Riley] is doing great work all over.” Last year SMC Dance Marathon held a similar giveback night and earned $2,000 for its cause. Kellogg said that Dance Marathon is aiming to match that amount this year. If students can’t make it to the giveback event but still want to help Dance Marathon, Kellogg said the group will host a Buffalo Wild Wings giveback event next semester. Students will also be able to register as a dancer for the Dance Marathon event in the spring during three days in January and three days in February, Kellogg said. Kellogg said she and the other members of Dance Marathon are passionate about the event because they’ve met some of the children affected. “We went to a luncheon at the hospital and [saw] the children treated at Riley and how great the families’ experience was,” she said. “[We heard] the children’s stories of growth and feeling and the way the hospital touches them.”last_img read more

SMC holds bonfire to celebrate ‘every form’ of diversity

first_imgA bonfire held by the Student Diversity Board (SDB) at Saint Mary’s will celebrate cultural diversity and raise money for victims affected by recent storms in Mexico. The bonfire will take place Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. on the soccer fields. Sophomore Vanessa Troglia, SDB member and event coordinator, said music and food will be key parts of the event, “Students can expect great music and performances from different clubs and associations around our community,” Troglia said. “There will also be yummy fall treats to munch on by the bonfires and various activities for everyone to participate in. We invite students to come take a study break and enjoy the crisp, fall evening by the fire.” Senior Carmen Cardenas, SDB president, said the board’s mission is to “unite the Saint Mary’s College community in celebration of the cultural diversity of every woman on campus.”  Junior SDB member Taylor Etzell said she hopes students will bond at the bonfire.   “The [bonfire] will be a fun event where students can come together to enjoy the talents and experiences of diverse students on our campus and in our community,” Etzell said. “The bonfire highlights that diversity comes from more avenues than just ethnicity; it comes in every form of our human behavior.” Cardenas said the bonfire will provide fall foods in addition to live entertainment by Troop ND, Bella Acapella, Irish Dance, Saint Mary’s Dance, La Republica and St. Aldaberts Ballet Folklorico. Cultural clubs will also attend the event, including the Chinese club, Korean club, Sisters of Nefertiti, La Fuerza and other organizations. “What is really amazing this year is that we will have two different performances done by international students,” she said. “Yaqi Song will be playing live traditional Chinese background music and Liangiun Wang will be dancing to music.” A unique addition to this year’s event is a humanitarian relief fund for the people affected by the recent storms in Mexico, Hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel. Troglia said there will be a raffle and a donations table for this year’s Mexico fund. “Recently deadly floods have devastated a large population in Mexico. With the help of our community, we can raise awareness for this cause and give aid and resources to some affected victims,” she said. “We feel that it is important to help people within our community as well as others around the world. After all, that’s what the celebration of diversity is about.” SDB hopes to raise awareness of the plights of the Mexican victims of recent natural disasters, and to mobilize support on campus, Cardenas said.        “The devastation caused by the storms in Mexico has left the region of Tierra Caliente, inSsouthern Mexico, in a deep humanitarian crisis,” Cardenas said. “People from Altamirano City and Coyuca de Catalan have lost everything due to the floods. Their entire communities are now gone. Some of the victims have been left without communication, food, or water. “Urban areas have received government relief, however, Tierra Caliente, a marginalized region plagued with extreme poverty, has not received any aid from local, state or federal authorities. “ SDB is working with local community members at this year’sBbonfire to join forces and help those who have been impactedd Cardenas said. The donation table will be collecting money to buy items such as bottled water, canned foods, rice, crackers, soap, shampoo, baby formula, baby bottle, and diapers. “No amount is too small,” Cardenas said. “Donations will help provide the most basic needs.”  For more information on the relief fund sponsored at this event, visit https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/cz33/tierra-caliente-emergency-relief-fun. Contact Samantha Grady at sgrady01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

Wofford gives talk on Hesburgh and human rights

first_imgHarris Wofford delivered the final installment in the Hesburgh Libraries Lecture Series on Friday with a presentation titled “Fr. Hesburgh and Human Rights: His Legacy and Our Bridge to the Future.” Wofford discussed University President Emeritus Fr. Theodore Hesburgh’s commitment to service, higher education and human rights.Wofford has served as a senator of Pennsylvania, associate professor at the Notre Dame Law School and legal counsel to Hesburgh on the first United States Commission on Civil Rights.“[Fr. Hesburgh] is Notre Dame’s,” Woffard said. “[One] cannot go around the globe without knowing that Notre Dame is on the map as one of the great universities, and that’s part of Fr. Ted Hesburgh’s legacy.“If you would look at his schedule, or see him in South Bend or have dinner with him at the Morris Inn, you will see how often he is called on as teacher, as friend, as priest, for advice and help.”Hesburgh was selected to be on the United States Commission on Civil Rights in 1957. Wofford said he met Hesburgh when the University President Emeritus read a memorandum written by Wofford on the Civil Rights Commission.Hesburgh contacted Wofford to ask if they could discuss his memorandum and, following that discussion, Hesburgh asked Wofford to serve as counsel to him on the Civil Rights Commission, according to Wofford. The Civil Rights Commission went on to write the Civil Rights Act of 1965.“Those two years [working] with him were two of the greatest years of my life, and he is an extraordinary leader,” Wofford said. “He could not have been achieving everything he was achieving at Notre Dame and everything he was doing outside of Notre Dame without being a very effective man,” Wofford.Hesburgh was also very crucial to the creation of the Peace Corps, Wofford said.“The great carriers of the Peace Corps were the institutions of higher education, colleges and universities with experience overseas, administering projects and be involved directly. Hesburgh worked to frame a program for Notre Dame to run the Peace Corps in Chile … Hesburgh began the Peace Corps Program in Chile,” Wofford said.Hesburgh’s accomplishments are due to his leadership skills and explosive personality, Wofford said.“Fr. Hesburgh is one of all the people I’ve worked with that is the most fun, most respected, most generating energy and ideas,” Wofford said.Hesburgh’s contributions stretch around the world and continue to inspire younger generations, Wofford said.Wofford closed his presentation by quoting Hesburgh himself.“Having travelled across the face of our beautiful planet and traversed all its oceans and continents, having shared deep human hopes with brothers and sisters of every nationality, religion, color and race, having broken bread and found loving friendship and brotherhood everywhere on Earth, I am prepared this day to declare myself a citizen of the world and to invite everyone everywhere to embrace the vision of a common humanity, our noblest hopes and a common quest for peace on Earth, now and in the next millennium,” Hesbugh said in 1974, according to Wofford. Tags: Hesburghlast_img read more

College of Arts and Letters appoints next dean

first_imgThe current chair of the department of sociology at Notre Dame, Sarah Mustillo, will serve as the next dean of the College of Arts and Letters, the University announced in a press release Wednesday. Mustillo will take over the position from John McGreevy — who served as dean of the college for 10 years — July 1.A Notre Dame alumna, Mustillo earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and gender studies, graduating from the University in 1996, according to the press release. She continued her education at Duke University, gaining master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology.Mustillo returned to Notre Dame as a faculty member in 2014, and became chair of the department of sociology in 2016. Her research focuses on topics including statistics, social epidemiology, medical sociology and social psychology, according to the press release.University President Fr. John Jenkins commended Mustillo for her scholarship and commitment to Notre Dame’s mission.“Throughout her career, Sarah has proven herself to be an accomplished scholar and skilled administrator,” he said in the press release. “Since returning to Notre Dame, she has shown character, selflessness, sound judgment and commitment to our distinctive Catholic mission through her service as department chair and on numerous committees and advisory boards. Sarah’s global perspective and focus on integrated learning and knowledge make her an ideal candidate to lead the College of Arts and Letters.”University provost Thomas G. Burish said in the press release that Mustillo’s combination of passion and extensive experience make her the right person for the job.“Sarah is a gifted leader, teacher and researcher who will bring to this position a deep understanding of the college and its mission, as well as a compelling vision for its future,” he said. “The search committee members were uniformly impressed with her deep commitment to providing our students with a world-class education that integrates a strong Catholic liberal arts foundation with state-of-the-art analytical tools and methods and a global perspective.”According to the release, Mustillo hopes to further promote the scholarship of graduate students and expand upon the success of undergraduate programs.“I am honored and delighted to be offered this challenging new role and to work with some of the very brightest scholars and dedicated academic professionals in the country and indeed the world,” she said in the release. “I am exceedingly grateful for the trust being placed in me, and I look forward to working alongside students, faculty and colleagues across the college and University as we advance academic excellence and our distinctive scholarly mission at our nation’s premier Catholic research university.”Tags: chair of sociology, College of Arts and Letters, dean, John McGreevy, Sarah Mustillo, sociologylast_img read more

Saint Mary’s first-year and sophomore classes to host first joint parents weekend

first_imgFor the first time ever, Saint Mary’s first-years and sophomores will come together to share a parent weekend, a perennially popular event put on by class council and the Office of Student Affairs to foster relationships between students, families and the College. The First-Year and Sophomore Parent’s Weekend will kick off Friday evening.The focus of the first-year and sophomore weekend tends have a more informational aspect in order to give parents a greater sense of what Saint Mary’s has to offer its students from the very beginning of their time there, dean of students Gloria Jenkins said in an email.“There are information sessions which are targeted to each individual class,” Jenkins said in the email. “Junior moms and senior dads events vary and revolve around that year’s class preference. However, there are fun and social activities for all in attendance.”With approximately 100 families expected to attend this weekend’s events, class council representatives have worked with the Office of Student Affairs to plan the weekend. While events are largely planned according to the interests of the hosting class, certain events hold a permanent place on every schedule.“Every family weekend culminates with a great meal on Saturday night, then Mass on Sunday morning,” Jenkins said in the email. “The official schedule of events and the activities are planned the semester prior to the event. For this weekend, we’ll have Friday night trivia, Saturday workshops, bowling and of course, dinner and Sunday Mass.”Jenkins said the weekends are always well-received by the families in attendance, who appreciate the opportunity to gain a closer connection to the College.“Parent weekends are meant to provide an opportunity for parents and/or guests to spend time with their student,” she said in the email. “Our guests enjoy seeing a glimpse of their student’s college life and our students enjoy meeting each other’s families. They’ve often heard a great deal about each other and it’s a good chance to really put faces to the names.”Having a weekend dedicated to bringing together students’ families with their “college family” is just as important to the students as to their parents because it allows them to deepen their existing friendships and to make more connections with classmates and their families, Jenkins said.“It’s a great time for students to build relationships with each other and their families through fun social events,” she said.Jenkins said the weekend also serves a practical purpose, providing a way to raise class money that is set aside to finance the flagship celebration concluding the undergraduate experience — Senior Week.“These weekends are an opportunity for each class to begin to raise money for their Senior Week,” Jenkins said. “The funds that are raised help cover costs for Senior Week, something everyone looks forward to.”Tags: First-Year Parent Weekend, Gloria Jenkins, parents, Sophomore Parents Weekendlast_img read more

Notre Dame Folk Choir creates music and encourages faith-filled dialogue

first_imgSenior Loyal Murphy has spent nearly four years in Notre Dame’s Folk Choir, and now serves as the choir’s president despite having unintentionally joined the group at the beginning of his freshman year. He wasn’t looking to join Folk Choir at all, and in fact meant to audition for Liturgical Choir, but accidentally attended Folk Choir auditions instead. Now, Murphy says he has no regrets.“It’s probably one of the best mistakes that’s ever happened to me,” he said. Courtesy of Brendan Copp The Notre Dame Folk Choir, a liturgical choir with 60 members from within the community, gathers behind the Basilica, where they perform every Sunday at 11:45 Mass.Murphy is one of 60 members of the Notre Dame Folk Choir, a liturgical choir that performs in the Basilica during 11:45 Mass every Sunday. The choir’s distinct combination of instruments and vocalists, Murphy said, creates a modern sound that resonates with its church audiences.“I think a lot of times people are turned off by the music at Masses, and just church services in general, because they can’t relate to it, or there’s nothing that really draws them to participate in the music,” Murphy said. “What Folk Choir tries to do is bring in music that’s got a more vibrant energy — a sound that more people can relate to.”Sophomore Uyen Le still remembers the first time she heard Notre Dame’s Folk Choir. It was the summer before her freshman year of college, and the choir performed at her local parish as part of its Texas tour. Folk Choir’s energy and sounds drew her in, and she decided to audition when she arrived on campus as a first-year student.“I really liked that they performed a lot of songs that I had already heard of [after] going to Mass all my life,” Le said. “They were well-known songs, but they added a different take. It made me feel so good inside. And I wanted to make that music with them.”Beyond its distinct sound, Murphy said the choir’s traditions and strong community set it apart from other choirs. Members eat brunch together most Sundays before Mass. Every Halloween, the different grades have a dress-up competition, with themes ranging from “Toy Story” to “Stranger Things.”“The reason why I love Folk Choir so much is how dedicated we are to community,” Le said. “It sounds strange that I could be so close with these people, but I honestly feel like I could come to any of them for anything.”Folk Choir director J.J. Wright said the choir’s tight-knit community is also strengthened by its routine dialogue and reflection. Every week, the members of Folk Choir take turns reflecting on the Gospel for that week’s Sunday Mass. In that setting, Wright maintained, students are speaking to each other in their own language and understanding the Gospel through their personal experiences.“Very often the concerns are deeply rooted in student life,” Wright said. “It’s like, ‘Midterms are coming up this week, what does the Gospel have to do with that?’ Or we just had a student who passed away in the choir, and that’s been heavy on everyone’s hearts, so that’s been very much a part of our shared life of prayer.”The choir’s reflective dialogue, he noted, extends beyond its discussion of the Gospel. Last year, as the choir prepared for its summer tour of east Africa, Wright said members were also grappling with issues of race, joining the University’s larger dialogue about diversity and inclusion. Le said those conversations deepened her appreciation of the trip’s cross-cultural exchange.“We undertook this whole process of figuring out what it means to sing African American sacred music at Notre Dame with a choir that doesn’t have any African American students and very few students of color,” Wright said. “I think those are the types of conversations that we need to be having as a community because it really does put the impetus on us to take responsibility for how we create an environment that is actually diverse and inclusive.”Murphy, who is a Methodist, said he’s learned a great deal from his experiences and conversations with fellow Folk Choir members. Attending weekly Mass and making music with other students of faith has created opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, he said. “There’s something about making music with a group of people who all believe in the power that music can hold that makes it so special,” Murphy said. “Certainly, I think my faith is strengthened throughout my four years with Folk Choir, simply because we’ve had that ability to make music together.”Tags: Annrose Jerry, Folk Choir, Mass, Musiclast_img read more

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