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Diversity and Will Smith

Sam Jones | Sunday, January 29, 2012

Notre Dame is not often noted for its diversity. As a white Catholic, I can be fairly sure my walk down South Quad every morning will be filled mostly with people who look, talk and act like me. However, despite being a somewhat monochromatic multicultural rainbow, I believe recognizing our similarities is a step in the right direction.

If you are currently a student, a few things are probably true:

1) You are smart. For reference, see each incoming freshman class’ record-breaking test scores and accolades.

2) You are a leader. Either personally, at school or in the larger community, ND/SMC/HCC students are role models motivated by dignity and compassion.

3) You know the lyrics to the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Theme Song.”

4) You find Father Jenkins’ voice soothing. When he speaks, babies stop crying, the elderly forget old aches and anxious minds are put to rest.

It is clear that our most powerful resource is community. Although each of us may be very smart, we are smarter together. While each of us may be an apt leader, we lead better as a group.

Even though we can perform solo, Will Smith’s raps sound better (or infinitely worse) when shouted at Reckers at 2 a.m. In the calming words of Father Jenkins: “Working together, we can build a fully diverse community. We recognize that a more diverse faculty and student body is a richer community for learning, discussion and inquiry, and no one whose graduates are better prepared to live and work in a world that becomes flatter and more global each year.”

Community is an asset with which we must approach the issue of race at Notre Dame. The upcoming Race Monologues, sponsored by Asiatic Gaze and the Diversity Council, gives us a chance to openly share our thoughts on the issues of race and diversity.

This event seeks to open a forum for student discussion without any of the usual obligation, hard feelings or pretense. Honestly discussing race at Notre Dame gives us the opportunity to challenge ourselves and better our community. I think Big Willie would approve.

Sam Jones


Carroll Hall

Jan. 29