Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis (USF) Office of Institutional Diversity, in partnership with the Criminal and Social Justice Department, Diversity Council, Safety and Security Department, and University Ministry, will host a virtual “Hot Topics” June Summer Series. Participation in the series is free of charge and open to the community.

Upcoming sessions in the series include:

  • Recognizing Institutional Racism and Systems of Oppression (June 10 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.) This discussion will help people identify systemic forms of racism above and beyond conscious and unconscious bias and microaggressions;
  • COVID-19 and Racism-20 (June 17 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.) This discussion will review our global pandemic and how racism, if unchecked and unchanged, travels through society like a disease. The theme of COVID-19 has been to “stop the spread.”  Like COVID-19, we encourage participants to identify things they can do to help cure the disease of racism and to stop the spread, and;
  • Voting as a Form of Power and Empowerment and Prayer at the Virtual Peace Pole (June 24 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.) This program discusses the civic action of voting and the important correlation to promoting structural, cultural, and institutional change. This program will highlight voting as an opportunity and action and will focus on what USF is doing to promote voter registration (conversation about specific candidates or the promotion of specific political parties will not be permitted).  The Office of Institutional Diversity, Diversity Council, and Social Work Department have also partnered with the League of Women Voters, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to promote voter registration.  Campaigns will take place online during the summer months and both online and in-person when school begins. 

Individuals interested in participating should email USF Director of Institutional Diversity and Title IX Coordinator Allison Heard at to confirm attendance and to receive a private meeting link.

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Currently celebrating 100 years of higher education rooted in Franciscan values, the University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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