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Social Justice Series 2023


The D’Amour Center for Faith, Service & Justice partners with multiple student groups for Canterbury’s annual Social Justice Series, which creates spaces for students to deepen their knowledge and engage in conversations around issues that are critical to building a more fair, just, and equitable world. The series kicks off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with a day of service supporting local organizations and continues weekly, offering evening sessions of vital, topical programming. 

ATTENTION STUDENTS: Please sign up for the Social Justice Series using the button below. As a reminder, you are required to sign up for AT LEAST ONE SESSION and are encouraged to attend as many as you would like. All sessions are held at 8:00 PM unless otherwise indicated. After your initial sign-up, you may return to this form at any point during the eight-week series to register for additional events.   



Week 1

Monday,  January 16
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Service Week Initiatives
(See Campus Announcements for community service opportunities throughout the week)

Servant Leadership Retreat - Fifth Form students

Thursday,  January 19  
The Qatar World Cup, Human Rights, and Business: How Commercial Forces Influence Health

Hosted by Head of School Rachel Stone P ’23, ’24

During this seminar, we will read and "workshop" a December 2022 article that highlights the World Cup as an illustration of various intersecting forces that impact human rights, justice, and health: "Global soccer is a business, generating astronomical sums of money. The influence of soccer on global conditions reflects the influence wielded by any commercial actor operating on a similar scale. In this sense, it represents the heart of commercial determinants of health (CDOH) thinking. The CDOH are the private sector actions that influence the conditions that shape health. These conditions include politics, the economy, the physical and social environments in which we live, the data ecosystems that inform science and public policy, and global patterns of trade. Private companies have tremendous sway over these conditions. They influence key areas like the safety of products, the price of goods, worker wages, the flow of energy and information, and the overall health of the economy. This influence is mediated by the choices made by those in positions of corporate leadership. When these choices align with the common good, they can do much to shape a healthier world. When they do not, they can undermine progress."

Week 2

Tuesday, January 24
Slurs: Language, Meaning, Use, & Impact

Hosted by Ms. Pena and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice (DEIJ) Council
D'Amour Center

While it is known that slurs are harmful and derogatory, this session will investigate and unpack the ways in which slurs are normalized and weaponized. During this interactive session, we will learn more about the history of slurs, address their presence and usage today, and discuss their impact on individuals, communities, and societies.


Week 3

Monday, January 30
Title IX: What Is It and How Does It Work? with Clare Fitzpatrick ’09
Hosted by Women of Canterbury

Clare Fitzpatrick, Assistant Women's Basketball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at College of the Holy Cross, returns to the hilltop and will break down Title IX. Clare is a member of the Class of 2009 and Canterbury Athletics Hall of Fame, holding the School's scoring record for Girls' Varsity Basketball prior to a very successful career at Cornell University. In this interactive session, she will discuss the legislation and history of Title IX and share how Title IX has impacted her life and career in athletics.  

Wednesday, February 1
8:00 - 10:00 PM
Hidden Figures Movie Showing 

Hosted by DEIJ Council

Three brilliant African-American women at NASAKatherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jacksonserve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world.


Week 4

Tuesday, February 7
Hidden Figures: The History Behind the Movie 
Hosted by Dr. Duchess Harris ’87, P ’25, American Studies and Political Science Professor, Macalester College

A 1987 Canterbury graduate, parent of a current Fourth Form student, and co-author of the book that inspired the movie Hidden Figures, Dr. Duchess Harris will lead a discussion about the Black women who worked at NASA in the 1950s. A granddaughter of one of these women, Miriam Daniel Mann, Dr. Harris will share stories and experiences of her grandmother as one of 11 "human computers" who made key contributions to America’s space program. By performing advanced mathematical calculations, these heroes made it possible for the nation’s astronauts to fly into space and safely return to Earth. 

Thursday, February 9
Hosted by Ms. Pena & Men in the Making

Members of The Ohio State University football team will host a virtual conversation on the important platform of college athletes as models of social and community responsibility. In conjunction with this session, Canterbury Varsity Football Co-Captains will kick-off a "Souper Bowl" food drive to benefit the New Milford Pantry, in which they hope to inspire our entire Saints community to give back to the communities in which we live and play.  

Week 5

Tuesday, February 14 
LGBTQ+ Vocab and Identities: What to Know & How to Talk About It
Hosted by Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA)

GSA will host an interactive session during which we will explore the terms within the LGBTQ+ umbrella. We’ll learn about words and phrases that are outdated and those contemporary ones that are more accurate and inclusive. Attendees will take the time to consider and explore their own identities as well as learning about the spectrums that those identifiers fall within. Finally, we will take some time to explore current events in LGBTQ+ communities in the U.S. and around the world.


Week 6

Tuesday, February 21   
Rise in Antisemitism & Hate Speech
Hosted by Interfaith Council and Jewish Student Association

What is antisemitism? How does it show up in contemporary settings? Why does it persist? In this interactive session, we will discuss the rise in antisemitism and hate speech—particularly how it impacts individuals and communities.

Week 7

Tuesday, February 28
Poverty & Hunger: Global & Local
Hosted by Ms. Karen Pease Marino, Board Member, United Nations Association of SWCT 

What is extreme poverty? How does it affect women globally and locally? Karen Pease Marino, Creative Director at Canterbury and a Board member and volunteer for the United Nations Association of Westport, Southwest Connecticut Chapter, will speak about the effects of extreme poverty on women and families living in Uganda, as well as close to home in Connecticut. As “No Poverty” is the first of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, she will also discuss how these goals are interconnected.  

Week 8

Thursday, March 2
7:00–8:30 PM
Oxfam Hunger Banquet
Hosted by Sacristans

Since 1974, Oxfam has been working with volunteers to create awareness of hunger and inequality. Oxfam Hunger Banquets give you the opportunity to make a difference, both locally and globally. This is an interactive event that brings statistics about poverty to life. You will learn about food security and raise awareness about the role we can all play in stopping hunger. You will take action for a safer, fairer climate. You will also learn about simple things you can do in your everyday life that can make a big difference in helping to end hunger.

 “This is an opportunity to come together to educate about and discuss issues of race, gender, sexuality, ability, and myriad aspects of our intersectional identities. Through the series, we consider how we can begin to move closer to creating a just, humane, peaceful, equitable, and sustainable world by working together.”
— D’Amour Center for faith, service & justice Director Tracy Garcia-LaVigne P ʼ14, ʼ16, ʼ17, ʼ20, ʼ23