Historical Engagement and Collective Reflection

An important part of our community engagement initiatives is a dedication to organizing critical campus conversations and events that highlight and remember the historical significance of legislation, public policy, and landmark events as they connect to the modern day lived experiences of USF students, staff, faculty, and marginalized members of our society.

On October 29, 2018, the University of San Francisco welcomed Chancellor Nancy Cantor and other delegates from San Francisco anchor institutions to share lessons and ideas about how anchor institutions can collaborate and address critical issues facing our community and the opportunities and challenges in doing this work. The roundtable discussion included a group of speakers who offered reflections from the perspective of their community-based work to better understand how universities can better and more ethically claim the role of influencing the communities in which they are situated as anchor institutions. This conversation followed a similar roundtable held at Rutgers University - Newark the previous spring. 

Campus members from the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good, Engage SF, School of Education, School of Law, College of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Provost, and the School of Nursing and Health Professions and community partners including the San Francisco Public Library, Westside Community Services, Hamilton Families, and San Francisco Interfaith Council all participated as speakers, conversants, and moderators.

In partnership with the San Francisco Public Library’s City Librarian Michael Lambert, VP and CDO Wardell-Ghirarduzzi will host the next annual Anchor Institution Meeting featuring cultural, interfaith, arts, and other equity-focused anchor institutions convening in 2020.

One week before the 2018 midterm elections, the USF community commemorated the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Professor Bill Hing (School of Law) and Dr. Clarence Jones (Critical Diversity Studies) discussed changing notions of citizenship through the history of the United States and what these historical markers of citizenship mean for our national discussion in 2019.

School of Law Professor Rhonda Magee discussed with Josephine Bolling McCall, author of The Penalty for Success: My Father Was Lynched in Lowndes County, Alabama, the history and impact of lynching in America. To conclude the night, students from the Black Living-Learning Community provided reflections through testimony on the memory of lynching victims in the United States and shared their experiences visiting the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration in Montgomery, Alabama.

Watch Professor Magee's conversation with Ms. Bolling McCall