History of SGI
The symbolism of stained glass acknowledges that our history is stained by slavery, and captures the spirit in which the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Xavier University is committed to institutionalizing racial repair and reconciliation. Just as stained glass admits and reflects light in different ways, the Stained Glass Initiative seeks to acknowledge and perpetuate the diversity of experience and reflection needed to envision a better common good.
As a creative art form, stained glass brings together different pieces to create a whole. It symbolizes transformation, spirituality and sacred history. At Xavier University we value the integration of knowledge and action that works toward the betterment of society. The SGI builds on our culture of encounter and compels our response to slavery and historical racism to be holistic and sensitive to our values, mission, and the tensions inherent in such work.
The Stained Glass Initiative was established by Dr. Kyra T. Shahid following recommendations put forth by the Working Group on Xavier’s Connection of Slavery established by University President, Father Graham and Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Janice Walker in May of 2017. These recommendations were shared with Father Graham and then with Xavier community members who attended two listening sessions held in October and November of 2017. Final recommendations were presented to the President’s cabinet in January 2018 and to the Board of Trustees in May 2018. Following these recommendations, Shahid established Stained Glass as an umbrella enterprise for projects that fulfilled aspects of the recommendations, including:
Diasporic Soul Racial Healing and Leadership Development Experience
The Academy's Original Sin: Universities Studying Slavery Fall 2019 Symposium
Day of R.E.A.D. (Reflection, Education, Awareness, and Discernment)
Artist in Residence: Angela Franklin