11:03 AM

Not Born to Hate - Discussing Race, Racism and Culture in America

This summer's incidents of police brutality, protests and increased tension across the political spectrum have re-awakened a need for us to take a step back and talk. Already, the dialogue has led to changes in consciousness and law, however these are not issues that will change overnight and will take time to realize.

With that in mind, members of the UST community gathered to create a venue to continue this dialogue - Not Born to Hate, a three-part video series that seeks to examine race, racism and culture in America, provide an understanding of how we arrived at our present situation as a society and offer a sense of hope for our collective future.

The Not Born to Hate series is the brainchild of Brianna Amaya, a UST alumna, grad student and graduate assistant in Campus Ministry. Stirred by the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Vanessa Guillen, Amaya knew she needed to create a platform to dialogue and explore the subject. She received help from Bridget Richardson, Assistant Director of Pastoral and Ecumenical Initiatives at the Nesti Center for Faith and Culture and Darnell Miller, Catholic Outreach Manager to help organize and produce the series.

“I want to make sure that we are giving everybody the chance to dream about their futures,” Amaya said. “So many times young people aren't even given the opportunity because of circumstances in their lives, but I want this series to give them hope that things can change and show them examples of people who persevered and overcame.” 

Part one of Not Born to Hate is a student panel that talks about perceptions of race in America. The students share their insights on this summer’s protests and offer suggestions on how we might continue to move forward. The panel represents students from many backgrounds and consists of students from the UST community, University of Houston and Xavier University.

The goal of the dialogue is to provide understanding and perspective, to empathize with others and to use this summer's events as an opportunity to learn and grow. These students serve as a model of civil, growth-minded discussion. 

The series takes a listen, learn, act model and infuses it with Catholic Social Teaching to create a response that is compassionate, educated, prayerful and powerful. 

Parts two and three will be released later in the semester and will cover an educational approach to understanding race and racism in America, a prayerful response that will allow us to recognize and dismantle prejudice in our own hearts, and stories of hope for our future.