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Bellarmine to Explore Race Relations as its Justice Theme

Bellarmine president Chris Meyercord addresses students during the school’s Mass of the Holy Spirit. (Photo by Sheila Collison)

Bellarmine College Preparatory began the school year August 22 with the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Concelebrated by the Bellarmine Jesuit Community, a reflection was delivered by the school’s president, Chris Meyercord.

In his remarks, which included a welcome to members of the Class of 2021 as well as to all returning students, Meyercord addressed the school’s justice theme for the year: Understanding Race in the 21st Century.

“One of the things that we celebrate most often here at Bellarmine is the brotherhood that we enjoy,” Meyercord told the students. “I appreciate that image of you all as brothers. Part of being a brother is helping one another to be better, and that’s what these conversations about race are going to challenge us to do. Because we know that when we confront our challenges honestly and head-on, we’re going to learn and grow in the process, and be better for it.”

Among the speakers scheduled to address Bellarmine’s 1,650 students during the year are alumnus Viet Thanh Nguyen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and USC professor, who will speak about what it was like to be Asian at Bellarmine when he attended in the mid-to-late 1980s; and San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia, who will share the challenges police officers face and how they are seeking to bridge divides and overcome fears in the community.

The justice theme, coordinated by faculty members Joe Cussen, Rod Theodule, and Carlos Jimenez, will culminate in the spring with a Justice Week Summit on Human Dignity. Previous justice themes at Bellarmine have included issues of poverty, human trafficking, sustainability, immigration, and hunger.