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Fred Pestello PhD to Deliver 23rd annual Markoe-De Porres Lecture on Feb. 16

“Racial Strife and the Jesuit University: A Sociologist’s and a President’s Perspective,” is the topic of the 23rd annual Markoe-De Porres lecture February 16 at 7:30 p.m., in the Harper Center Hixson-Lied Auditorium, on the Creighton campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture presented by St Louis University’s first lay president, Fred Pestello, PhD, will focus on the fall 2014 Occupy SLU protests that occurred just weeks after he took office. The protests were in response to both the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the shooting of the son of a longtime campus employee. The protests included demonstrations, candlelite vigils, and a teach-in which drew over 500 students and several members of the faculty, staff, administrators and Jesuit community.

The protest ended peacefully by an agreement called the “Clock Tower Accords.” The Accords – developed by students, faculty, staff, administration, and community members – immediately clarified the urgent issues, and outlined steps toward their resolution.

Pestello becomes the third president of a Jesuit University to deliver the De Porres Lecture following Rev. Paul Locatelli, S.J. of Santa Clara University in 2000 and Rev. Charles J. Beirne, S.J. of LeMoyne College in 2007.

The Markoe-De Porres Lecture is named in honor of the Rev. John Markoe, S.J., and the Omaha De Porres Club, which took its name from St. Martin De Porres and which worked for racial justice in Omaha through the use of nonviolence, and did so before the advent of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement in the South.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Cultural and Social Sciences and the Division of Mission and Ministry. The De Porres lecture is the first of a three lecture series from the Division of Mission and Ministry.

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