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CUERG Distinguished Scholar-Leader Award: Dr. C. Vanessa White

05/28/2024 11:26 AM | Stephanie Wong (Administrator)

At the upcoming convention's CUERG luncheon, Dr. C. Vanessa White  (Assoc. Prof. of Spirituality and Practice at Catholic Theological Union, and Director of the Certificate In Black Theology and Ministry) will be the recipient of the inaugural CUERG Distinguished Scholar-Leader award!

We will highlight her significant contributions to the Church, academy and wider society; and Dr. White will offer an address to the gathering at the 2024 CUERG Luncheon.

The CUERG leadership committee found it fitting to create the award at this time for two reasons:

First, CUERG has now existed for several decades as a consultatory advisory committee to the CTSA Board and as a network of intellectual and professional support for CTSA members from underrepresented or under-recognized ethnic and racial backgrounds. In the early years, the committee strove mainly to create possibilities of presence and thriving for minoritized scholars in the Catholic theological community. While this remains a key priority, CUERG is no longer new nor simply trying to find a place at the discursive table. Over time and through the concerted efforts of past leaders, CUERG has developed into both an institution within the convention (for instance, the annual CUERG Luncheon) and a professional community with a deepening sense of its particular history, struggles, and contributions to the Society as a whole. As CUERG continues to mature, it is valuable for CUERG to take stock and recognize all that has and is still unfolding in the Society’s efforts to theologize en conjunto (together), in a truly inclusive way.

Second, the CUERG committee desired to joyfully highlight the contributions of under-recognized teacher-scholars, noting their work as a gift to the wider academy and Church. Theologians working at the ethnic and racial margins of theological discourse have often tackled sobering and lamentable topics (for instance, the horrors of slavery, colonial campaigns, forced migration, systemic racism, etc.) and wrestled with the legacies of such structural inequities in the history of our own Church and academic discipline. Nonetheless, these and other myriad scholarly reflections should not be perceived as an encumbrance on the theological enterprise, but rather an aide and gift to Catholic theological thinking. Insofar as Church and academy can holistically address the realities that facing racially and ethnically minoritized Catholics, we are able to theologize better. This unfolding honesty and proficiency is a gift to treasure and celebrate!

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