Download Full Text (214 KB)

Publication Date



In 2016, the first Symposium on Race on the University of Dayton campus arose within a historical context of several events, including the nationwide racial crises beginning with Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, and the subsequent emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Amid these “headline” events was a lingering dissatisfaction of Black students on the University of Dayton campus; an incomplete understanding of America’s racial past; the experiences of Black and white participants in the University’s African immersion program; and my belief as a faculty member and then-coordinator of Africana Studies that we were not doing enough to address the problems of race and racism on campus. That seems to have been a very long time ago; since then, racial issues have surfaced in rapid succession.

Five years later, we are back in a similar situation. The 2021 symposium, like the first one, developed within a historical context of events that culminated in the protests of summer 2020. The headlines were many: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Jacob Blake and many more. The nature and persistence of the protests confirmed that something had changed. Students from our campus participated. There was national and international outrage.

The goal of the 2021 Symposium on Race was to study the history of race relations at the University; to understand a sense of trends and attitudes; and to outline potential steps toward building a more inclusive and anti-racist university. The symposium challenged each of us to ask difficult questions about ourselves—what am I doing to end anti-Black racism?

These proceedings are available free for download but also available for purchase in print for $6 plus tax and shipping.


Higher Education | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies