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8th Annual Teach-In on Social Justice

Monday, March 18, 2024

“Beyond Polarization: From Conflict to the Common Good”

(Registration Required)


Register for the Teach-In
(Students, Staff, Faculty Only Please)
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Tony Banout, Teach In Keynote SpeakerMorning Keynote – Tony Banout

Presentation to be announced soon
(Students, Staff, and Faculty only)

A description of the Keynote is coming soon!

Banout serves as the inaugural executive director of the Forum for Free Inquiry and Expression at the University of Chicago whose mission is to provide a focal point for understanding and applying free expression, in academia and in the broader culture, in the United States and abroad. Banout earned his PhD from the University of Chicago Divinity School, where he was a Martin Marty Center Junior Fellow and Provost Dissertation Fellow. Banout also holds a BS from Saint John’s University and an MA from Washington Theological Union. As the former senior vice president for Interfaith America, Banout guided a leading civic organization in the development of strategies and programs devoted to democratic discourse and civil conversation across deep difference in and beyond higher education. He has spoken and published widely on free expression, constructive engagement of difference, and the civic relevance of religious diversity. A lifelong advocate for ideological diversity and inclusion in academia, Banout serves as a board member at Heterodox Academy.

Michael Okinczyc-Cruz, Teach In afternoon Keynote

Afternoon Keynote – Dr. Michael Oinczyc-Cruz

Presentation to be announced soon
(Students, Staff, and Faculty only)

A description of the Keynote is coming soon!

Michael Okinczyc-Cruz is the Executive Director and a co-founder of the Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership (CSPL). As a community organizer over the past 12 years he has worked alongside grassroots community leaders to address systemic inequities and advance justice through ambitious community-led solutions on local, state, and national levels. He has trained thousands of leaders across the country on the methodologies of faith-rooted community organizing. He is an adjunct professor at the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University of Chicago teaching courses on Catholic Social Teaching, Christian Ethics and Leadership in Social Justice Organizations, and Kingian and Gandhian nonviolence.

Michael possesses a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master’s in Theology from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and a Doctorate of Ministry with a concentration in Latina/o studies from Fordham University. Michael’s maternal grandparents are from Guanajuato, Mexico. His father is a refugee from Poland.

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Unifying Principles behind the Teach-In

  • INCLUSIVITY. We must vigorously work toward an increasingly “inclusive academic community” and not take for granted that this has been achieved.
  • OUR INTELLECTUAL TRADITIONS. We are called to bring the wisdom of our Benedictine and Catholic intellectual traditions into the dialogue about urgent social issues confronting our local, national, and global communities.
  • ENGAGED CITIZENS and THE COMMON GOOD. In our efforts to become “engaged citizens,” we need a fuller understanding of what it means to “promote the common good” and to work toward social justice according to Catholic teachings.
  • OUR HALLMARKS. We are expected to live and to model the values of our Benedictine hallmarks: Love of Christ and Neighbor, Prayer, Stability, Conversatio (formation and transformation) , Obedience/Listening, Discipline, Humility, Stewardship, Hospitality, Community

If you have any questions or would like to be involved in planning, please contact:

Pat Somers
[email protected]