Of Greek origin, the term metanoia has been variously translated as 'change of mind,' 'change of heart,' 'conversion,' 'reflection,' and 'meditation,' and since 1970 has been used by the University of Connecticut to designate special days of engaged and transformative learning on campus.
Statement from Together: Confronting Racism Organizers
on the “It’s OK to Be White” Event
Earlier this month, UConn came together for a day of focused reflection, dialogue, and change—a day of metanoia—called Together: Confronting Racism. On Tuesday, an event designed to do the opposite occurred on our campus. We, the organizers of Together: Confronting Racism, reject this deliberate effort to sow division and stoke hatred at our University. We reject the ideology of white supremacy that was the premise for the event, and we reject the strategy that cloaks provocation, incitement, and trolling in the garb of “free speech” that pretends to offer ideas when in fact it spits insults. We stand in solidarity with our students, faculty, staff, and alumni who were targeted for intimidation and harassment by this event.
Our University is dedicated to the free exchange of ideas and we welcome all good faith opportunities to engage with a wide range of ideas and perspectives, even those—especially those—that differ from the majority view. Working together does not benefit from an absolute homogeneity of thought or values. Robust, contentious, and difficult dialogue is essential to expanding knowledge, deepening understanding, and—if we are to confront racism—building empathy across difference. But making a pretense of serious study while working to poison the well of free inquiry with disingenuous cant and bigoted indignities—that is not welcome.
In the face of Tuesday’s events, we reaffirm our commitment to dismantling racism and constructing a more beloved community of mutual respect and equal dignity. As a university, we understand that this is the only context in which knowledge can truly flourish. Toward this end, we invite all members of the UConn community to join us as we continue the work highlighted on November 8th this coming Tuesday, December 5th at 7pm in NextGen Hall Forum and work to remain: Still Together.
In keeping with the UConn tradition of metanoia, the university community has designated Wednesday, November 8, 2017, as a day of reflection, learning, sharing, and transformation focused on confronting racism in our university, our state, and our nation.
While “Together: Confronting Racism” was authorized in response to the recent outbursts of violent white supremacy epitomized by the events in Charlottesville, a review of the history of metanoia at UConn reveals that the subject of race and racism is perennial. To us, this signals that racism is not a “problem” to be “solved,” but a fundamental part of our history and contemporary society for which we must take responsibility. This semester, we will once again attend to this basic fact of American life and we seek innovative and effective ways of addressing issues such as white supremacy, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, nativism, and colonialism.
- Daily Campus: Candlelight Vigil to be Held TonightTonight, the University of Connecticut will host a “Candlelight Vigil for Memory and Justice” at 7:30 p.m. on the Student Union Quad. The vigil is intended to be a “dignified, warm and solemn event,” according to the description of the event in the UConn Daily Digest. It is being hosted to “reflect upon the events […]
- President Herbst Letter to the CommunityAugust 28, 2017 Dear Students and Colleagues, To the newest members of UConn Nation – welcome! I hope you’re already settling in and finding your way in this outstanding University. With over 6,300 new Huskies joining us this year, we continue to be a destination for talented, ambitious and diverse students from across the country […]
- Archives and Special Collections Blog: Metanoia at UConnThis post was written by Shaine Scarminach, a UConn History Ph.D candidate who is a student assistant in Archives & Special Collections. All photographs are from the University of Connecticut Photograph Collection. Metanoia. A curious word with multiple meanings. Most trace its origins to the Greek, though its definition varies. Some have said it means […]
Schedule of Events
Still Together: Dialogue for Interconnectedness
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
7:00 - 9:00pm