Past Events

Peace Teach-In: The Intersectional Environmentalist: How to Dismantle Systems of Oppression to Protect People and Planet

Celebrated environmentalist and author Leah Thomas was the keynote speaker at the 6th Annual Gros Memorial Event. Thomas uses her passion for writing and creativity to explore and advocate for the critical yet often overlooked relationship between social justice and environmentalism. This year's teach-in sessions focused on recognizing the intersectionality within environmentalism efforts and mobilizing for climate action and a sustainable future for all.

This event occurred on October 19, 2023.

Interfaith Forum: The FIRE: Interfaith Story Sharing and Dinner

Interfaith Forum 2023 Our community gathering at the 2023 Interfaith Forum.

At the 2023 Interfaith Forum, we explored how stories and storytelling can make meaning, build bridges, and connect communities. Our panel speakers, Irene Kapustina, rev. mandi huizenga, Siddhesh Shevade, and Sherry Rochford, along with community members told stories focused on celebrations and holidays in spiritual and religious traditions. After sunset, we shared a community dinner together.

This event occurred on March 27, 2023.

Peace Teach-In: See No Stranger, Discern Truth, Embody Justice

Renowned author, speaker, and activist Valarie Kaur was the keynote speaker at 5th Annual Gros Memorial Event. This year’s teach-in sessions focused on dismantling racism and building bridges through revolutionary love across religious, cultural and other forms of human distinction.

Recognizing that one major contributor to human, ideological, religious and political division is the presently elusive search for truth, we will strive to illuminate where truth actually lies and to stand in that truth so as to discern the path toward greater justice for all persons.

This event occurred on October 19-20, 2022.

Interrupting Violence: Restorative Justice as Prevention & Healing

Restorative Justice Rev. Larry Dowling, M.Div., D.Min. & Sonia Wang

This year's annual educational event focused on restorative justice (RJ) will be led by two people involved in facilitating restorative practices in parish and school settings in Chicago. We will continue to explore ways that RJ in schools, communities, places of worship, and other settings can interrupt the patterns of violence that pervade our society and seek alternative responses that have the potential to heal the harm that’s been done to community members.

This event is co-sponsored by the Diocese of Joliet Restorative Justice Committee and the Gros Institute for Dialogue, Justice and Social Action of Lewis University.

This event occurred on March 30, 2022.

Interfaith Forum: Healing Generations of Faith-Based Anti-Blackness


Dr.Mehnaz Afridi Dr. Mehnaz Afridi
Rev. Dr. Courtney Bryant Rev. Dr. Courtney Bryant
Dr. Laura B. Frank Dr. Laura B. Frank
Dr. Maureen H. O'Connell Dr. Maureen H. O'Connell

A panel of Lasallian educators from various faith perspectives will share their stories, experiences, and insights about our collective moral and spiritual responsibilities to dismantle and heal from the legacy of racism in our families, campus communities, worship communities, and nation.

Following brief presentations from our panelists, participants will have the opportunity to dialogue with each other and intentionally engage the forum’s theme. This forum theme is inspired by the new book by one of our panelists, Dr. Maureen O’Connell, entitled Undoing the Knots: Five Generations of American Catholic Anti-Blackness (Beacon Press; available January 2022). Sponsored by the Lasallian Consortium for Interfaith Dialogue & Diversity in Higher Education.

This event was held on March 24, 2022.

Peace Teach-In Featuring Zaher Sahloul and Suzanne Sahloul

Howard Guyton of the LUTN News reports on the 2019 Lewis University Peace Teach-In and Gros Memorial Event.

This event occurred in 2019.