Alumnus Ron Lawson ’75, chief operating officer of Care for the Homeless, is one of several prominent Black alumni taking part in a virtual discussion series with the Holy Cross community organized by the McFarland Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture.
As featured on NBC Boston and the New England Cable News, the McFarland Center’s ongoing “Dismantling Structural Racism” series has been tackling important conversations on how to identify structural barriers that disproportionately affect Black and Brown communities, explore actions that can help to close the racial gap and help students think about how they can do the same.
During the virtual event, Lawson, a political science major while at Holy Cross, shared his personal story of homelessness after having worked for 14 years as a financial analyst and manager for some of the biggest firms on Wall Street. He has since built his career in operations, financial management and consulting for nonprofits, eventually ascending to his current position of chief operating officer at Care for the Homeless in New York City.
Lawson also reminded fellow Crusaders that it’s their duty to live the Jesuit principle of being “men and women for and with others,” instilled at Holy Cross, in order to undo some of the damage of institutional racism. “Look beyond yourself, look at the misfortune of others, and when you see a way to rectify the situation and you have the ability to do so, do so,” Lawson said.
McFarland Center Director Tom Landy, who moderated the discussions, told NBC Boston’s Alysha Palumbo that he hopes Lawson’s message resonates with students. “I’d really like our students to look at someone who’s doing the work, as Ron is, and some of the other alumni we featured in the series, and see themselves in that, see possibility, and say, ‘I can do that, I can change that,'” Landy said.
Part of the College’s anti-racism efforts, the Dismantling Structural Racism series continues on March 9th with a conversation on investing in racial equality.
To view the segment, go to NBCBoston.com.
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