Notre Dame College Shares in Diversity, Social Justice for MLK, Black History Month

Notre Dame College is commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black History Month 2018 with several educational events in celebration of diversity, justice and culture.

Throughout January and in February, the College is conducting a Black History Month poetry contest and offering students the opportunity to attend a closed performance of a Cleveland Orchestra special educational program remembering King, as well as supporting a movie night with dinner and discourse on a documentary exploring issues of race and imprisonment and hosting a gospel music show of performing artists.

The College’s observance extends beyond racial diversity to encompass—in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame—service, social justice and global responsibility, too, with a human trafficking conference, International Week and recital of baroque music by guest artists native to Singapore.

Notre Dame is among the most diverse colleges and universities in the country with nearly half of its students identifying with minority populations. Its students come from 40 states and more than 20 countries. The College also specializes in those traditionally underserved in higher education. About 40 percent of students are among the first in their families to attend college, nearly 15 percent have documented learning differences and almost 100 percent are financial aid eligible.

Black History Month Poetry Contest: Through January 31

The College Counseling Center is leading a campus-wide poetry contest in honor of Black History Month. Current students are encouraged to write an original, individual work of poetry no longer than 200 words that describes how an African-American person or group has inspired them to improve their lives. Submissions are due January 31 and winners will be featured on campus. Email the Notre Dame Counseling Center for details.

Cleveland Orchestra Performance Remembering King: Through February 1

Notre Dame is offering students the chance to receive free tickets to a special closed performance of the Cleveland Orchestra’s “Civil Rights: Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr” noon on Friday, February 9, at Severance Hall in Cleveland.

The College’s performing arts programs will transport eligible students to and from the educational concert of classical music and vignettes tracing the life of King through the major events of the Civil Rights movement, symbolizing peaceful revolution during other periods of history and demonstrating the timeless need for social justice and unity.

Notre Dame students, many of whom are education majors and some who teach music and arts through the College’s international immersion to Guatemala, are required to complete an online wait list form to be considered for the concert and will be notified by February 1 if they receive the limited tickets available to the performance.

The concert, targeted to educators and students in grades 6-12, is led by Vinay Parameswaran, assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and music director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

Human Trafficking Conference: January 19

To extend social justice mission of King and the Sisters of Notre Dame, the College is joining with the Renee Jones Empowerment Center to host the 2018 NEO Human Trafficking Symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, January 19, in the Performing Arts Center on the Notre Dame campus. January is national Human Trafficking Awareness month.

Speakers for the conference include Denise Rini, judge, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division, and presentations feature a trauma informed services provider panel, law clinic and law enforcement update and youth ambassador training program, among other topics. Additional information and symposium agenda are available online

Documentary Dinner and Discourse: January 20

Members of the campus and extended community are invited to attend a free screening of the movie 13th, winner of the 2016 Emmy for Outstanding Documentary, at 3 p.m. Saturday, January 20, with the College's Office of Campus Ministry. The film, named for the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that formally abolished slavery, explores issues of race, justice and imprisonment of people of racial and ethnic diversity in the United States.

Following the movie, attendees will share in dinner and discussion facilitated by staff of Mennonite Central Committee, a world-wide relief and justice ministry of Anabaptist churches, in conjunction with the Notre Dame's campus ministry. The event is at Friendship Mennonite Church of Bedford Heights, Ohio. Email Anita Hooley Yoder, coordinator of campus ministry, to learn more.

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Formally abolishing slavery in the United States, the 13th Amendment was passed by the Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.

Gospel Music Show: February 3

In the premier event of Notre Dame’s Joan Cronin Reagan #NDCPerforms Series for spring 2018, the Rev. Ron Ixaac Hubbard, gospel music instructor at the College, is bringing his "Pastor Ron Gospel Show" to America for the first time. The professional ensemble, live from their tour in Europe, will perform gospel selections—rooted in the music, spirituals and hymns of African-American churches of the American South during the 1800s—from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, February 3, at Regina Auditorium on the College campus. Tickets are available online and at the door.

Proceeds from the event, which includes a special appearance by the Notre Dame Gospel Ensemble, will support the College's annual international immersion trip to Guatemala, part of which involves performing arts students teaching music to children in the Central American country.

Hubbard, who conducts the Notre Dame Gospel Ensemble, periodically leads workshops, presents at conferences and conducts singing tours overseas, all in the gospel genre. He has appeared in countries such as Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa and Japan. Hubbard also conducts gospel music workshops at the College.

Singaporean Guest Artists: February 4

To continue its celebration of racial and global diversity and culture, the College’s Joan Cronin Reagan #NDCPerforms Series for spring also presents a free concert by guest artists Qin Ying Tan, harpsichord, and Alan Choo, violin, from 4-5 p.m. Sunday, February 4, in Christ the King Chapel on the third floor of the College’s Administration Building.

An introduction to the richness and diversity of baroque violin and harpsichord, the recital will feature Biber's Passacaglia church sonata and other works by Bach, Couperin and Castello. 

Native of Singapore, Qin Ying Tan is a harpsichordist and baroque dance specialist based in Cleveland, Ohio, who believes the performance of music is not complete without historical and theoretical knowledge. Choo, co-founder of SG Inspirations, a project dedicated to performing works by Singaporean composers, specializes in period instruments and is dedicated to bringing works of the past to life by performing them with a historically informed style in the context of today.

Biographies for Tan and Choo are available online.

International Week Thursday: February 5-9

Leading up to the PyeongChang, South Korea, 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Notre Dame is planning its first International Week February 5-9, which will culminate with an Olympic Opening Ceremony Watch Party. The opening ceremony is scheduled for 8 p.m. KST in PyeongChang, which is 14 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

The College’s Office of Student Engagement is planning information campaigns about international students through social media and tabling events to generate awareness of diverse cultures. The week also will highlight international student organizations and feature global foods every day in the dining hall. Details are forthcoming.

January 2017

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or


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