For the first time, Boston College’s FACES Council is launching the week long event “Embrace Week” to bring together the Boston College community to celebrate the strength in BC’s diversity. FACES Council has established Embrace Week in conjunction with the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center, ALC, GLC, and BSF.
“Embrace Week is an important week for the Boston College student body because it is a celebration of the diversity found in our community” said FACES Council co-director Grace Kim, MCAS ’16. “Its themes this year: service, love, faith, and expression, are relatable to every single student. From this week's events, students can learn how race is relevant in each of these aspects of our lives.”
The events consist of a variety of lectures and panel discussions. The week will kickoff on April 4 with a discussion titled “The State of Service: Why Race Matters” which aims to explore the nature of service at Boston College. Kim described the kickoff event as a dialogue on BC’s emphasis towards “service, immersion, and volunteering by our school's Jesuit traditions.” According to Kim, “over 80% of Boston College students participate in some sort of community service before they graduate.” Furthermore, Father Don MacMillan, Professor Mary Troxell, and Professor Brinton Lykes will speak on a panel and share their insights on what they believe to be the strengths of service at BC, where BC can improve, and why race is relevant.
FACES Council member Eleanor Vorys, MCAS ’16 elaborated on the week’s scheduled events. “Tuesday night follows with a panel that discusses the Black Queer experience on BC’s campus,” Kim added, “It will address the stigma about LGBTQ individuals in African Diaspora cultures, and the racism faced by black students in the LGBTQ community.”
“The Wednesday event is titled 'Love Thy Neighbor: Race and the Church',” said Kim, “It will feature a keynote address from Brother Mickey McGrath, an Oblate from Camden, New Jersey who has done extensive artwork and research on Sister Thea Bowman.” McGrath will discuss the intersections of race and faith and whether or not a Jesuit Catholic university has an obligation to pursue social justice.
The week will culminate on Thursday in the closing event of Embrace Week, the 5th Annual Speak For Your Change, which will follow the theme of expression through various art forms. “The success of the event and the diversity of both the attendees and performances in years past was an inspiration to Embrace Week's theme and goal,” expressed Kim, “Featured performers include Juice, (BC) Dynamics, Conspiracy Theory, Voices of Imani, and various spoken word artists.”
Following the closing event, there will be a dessert reception from 12-2PM on Friday, April 7 in the BAIC lounge that will provide a space to ask questions and continue the conversations that arose throughout the week.
The FACES Council hopes to draw a wide variety of students to the Embrace Week events. Vorys urged that everyone “from those who reflect on these themes on a daily basis to those who have never discussed these themes before” is welcome. “Embrace Week provides an opportunity for everyone to join in better understanding race in the context of Boston College. We hope this begins a cycle of talking candidly and openly about how to strengthen our community.”
By bringing together students from all different backgrounds, Kim hopes to “increase the dialogue about race to students who may not have discussed it before. We hope that BC students, whether they're White, Black, Asian, Latino, etc., will be able to find how race impacts their lives and those around them.”
For further information on the week's events visit the Embrace Week Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1706895522915187/