Lifting our Community’s Voices

We are honored to have been awarded the Jesuit Foundation Grant, given to academic programming, curriculum development, and research projects which address USF’s Jesuit Catholic mission. This funding helps to underwrite the first year of “Amplifying San Francisco Voices: Building Bridges in CommUNITY Conversations,” a series of interdisciplinary dialogues that examine the major historical and contemporary contexts of systems of oppression from the perspective of those who are closest to the pain. Continuing to lift up, engage with and promote the voices, knowledge, and expertise of our community co-educators is one of the ways the McCarthy Center lives out its values and our commitment to the common good.

Lifting up the voices and expertise of our community co-educators and partners is a priority in two McCarthy Center programs:  Engage San Francisco (ESF) Literacy program, an educational partnership under the university-wide initiative with the Fillmore/Western Addition, and Community Empowerment Activists (CEA), a year-long community-engaged learning course that raises consciousness and builds people-power through  student internships at grassroots social justice organizations in San Francisco.

The project supports regular community conversations with neighborhood leaders and community members, USF faculty, students, and staff across various disciplines hosted by the Community Empowerment Activists and Engage San Francisco Literacy program on campus and in community. The goal is to cultivate and foster these spaces for meaningful reflections and dialogue on contemporary social issues.

Examples of guest speakers who will be invited to meet with CEA students and literacy tutors include: Abbas Muntaquim of the People’s Breakfast Oakland/Hella Black Podcast, Sheryl Evans Davis, Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission; Neva Walker, ED of Coleman Advocates, Shakira Simley, ED of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center, Darren Kawaii, Principal of Rosa Parks Elementary, Dr. Monique LaSarre of the Rafiki Coalition, Nazshonnii Brown-Almaweri of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, Lonnie Morris of No More Tears, Couper Oroña from the Coalition on Homelessness, and Max Leung of the SF Peace Collective and Frisco Cop Watch.

Through these dialogues and community-engaged learning activities, students and our guests will develop skills in grassroots organizing and mobilizing, and create resources and reflections that lift the initiatives of community-based organizations and partners, demonstrating community wisdom and solidarity through advocacy letters, support letters to incarcerated persons, expressive arts, and digital media. These conversations will be instrumental to student development as they foster spaces for critical reflection on and analysis of some of the most pressing social issues of our times.

Stay in the know about the future dates of these conversations by following our social media.

community buildingcommunity developmentCommunity Empowerment ActivistsconversationsEngage San Francisc LiteracyEsther Madriz Diversity ScholarsFillmoreMarshall-Riley Living Learning CommunityOffice of Racial EquitySan Francisco Human Rights Commission

Leo T. McCarthy Center • September 2, 2021

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