A Preview: “Coming to Terms with the Past” the Catholic University & Historical Legacy

Many universities in the United States must contend with institutional legacies bound up with injustice and oppression. Given the Catholic tradition’s emphasis on justice, mercy, and reconciliation, our call to engage with contentious pasts is particularly imperative. The “LMU and Place” series asks participants to consider the challenges and opportunities that face us in virtue of our placement here and now, including the necessity of grappling with contested and problematic historical legacies.

The Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination at LMU is looking forward to hosting renowned speakers, Marcia Chatelain, Ph.D., Traci Brynne Voyles, Ph.D., and Ph.D. student Amanda K. Wixon for the upcoming event, Coming to Terms With The Past. This will be a powerful event awakening our community to how our past can illuminate our future goals, and how we can engage with one another in virtue of our placement here and now.

How do we come to terms with the past when the past has been bound up with injustice and oppression? Dr. Marica Chatelain, in an interview for “Creative Mornings,” stated, “There is a giant boulder of inequality in front of us, and it’s very easy to believe that we cannot push it. But when we understand how much it took for it to get even halfway up the mountain, we become more forgiving with ourselves and others in the mistakes we make along the way.” (https://creativemornings.com/talks/marcia-chatelain/1) Understanding our past gives us a place to begin finding creative solutions for addressing, as Dr. Chatelain says, “inequality in front of us.”

Dr. Traci Brynne Voyles is an Associate professor and Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies at Loyola Marymount University and author of Wastelanding: Legacies of Uranium Mining in Navajo Country (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2015). Her work addresses environmental inequalities, specifically on Navajo land and in the presence of uranium mining. With this knowledge and all that Dr. Voyles offers at the event, what might you be open to exploring and learning about the land on which you live? What creative actions might you be inspired to take?

Amanda K. Wixon, has been inspired to take action by pursuing a Ph.D. in Native American History at the University of California in Riverside. She also serves as the Assistant Curator at Sherman Indian Museum in Riverside and is a contributor and co-editor of the upcoming book Sharp Minds, Strong Voices: Twentieth Century Activist American Indian Women of the American West. Wixon’s research interests include, public history, American Indian identities, boarding school histories, as well as Native American art.

Come join this conversation as we reflect and learn from Georgetown’s experience with using their historical legacy to inform their present day institutional goals. We await with curious ears and hearts how we, at LMU and the surrounding community, can do something similar, imagining ways in which our history can inform our goals.