Inclusion was the Focus of on Becoming Lasallian Colloquium

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Inclusion was the Focus of Third Annual Colloquium on Becoming Lasallian

Published: February 7, 2018.

More than 100 Lewis University students, faculty and Lasallian partners gathered Jan. 27 at Lewis University in Romeoville. They focused on building united communities where diversity is respected and everyone belongs.

“Building Inclusive Communities” was this year’s theme of “Becoming Lasallian,” the third annual colloquium of the Institute for the Advancement of Catholic and Lasallian Education and the College of Education.

Keynote speaker Brother Armand Alcazar, FSC, spoke on the Lasallian Core Principle of Inclusive Communities in his presentation, the “Biblical Models of Lasallian Inclusion.”

Breakout sessions addressed many aspects of inclusion. Dr. Jennifer Buss, associate professor of special education at Lewis University, led a panel discussion of Catholic school administrators, parents and students in addressing the topic of “What Do Inclusive Practices Look Like in the Catholic School?”

Dr. Theresa Nolan, principal of Tinley Park High School, Chris Tiritilli, principal of St. Mary’s Gostyn Elementary School in Downers Grove, and Maryann O’Neill, principal of Montini High School in Lombard, shared their reflections as leaders in Catholic and public schools.

Sean Ruane, garden educator at the Kitchen Community and co-director of Just Roots Chicago, presented, “We the People: Building a Culture of Dialogue and Respect in the Classroom.” He addressed questions of what it means to engage in respectful and empathetic dialogue, particularly with people of different cultures, backgrounds, and faith traditions.

Amy Eckhouse, program director of the Maria Kaupas Center in Chicago offered a session on “Using Peacemaking Circles to Highlight the Voices of our Students.” She explained how circles intentionally create a sacred space that lift barriers between people, opening fresh possibilities for connection, collaboration and mutual understanding.

Dan Dowling, assistant campus minister and science teacher at De La Salle Institute in Chicago presented, “Unity among Diversity: Celebrating Individuals While Building Community in a Diverse Inner City Setting.” He discussed the challenges of building the community with their students in a setting that has been nationally recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Diverse Schools in the nation.

Mike Dieter, social science instructor at De La Salle Institute in Chicago and adjunct instructor at Lewis University, held a session entitled, “In the Footsteps of the Founder: Lasallian Educators as Activists.” Participants considered the necessity of educators to take a stand in the name of human dignity and social justice.

The Institute for the Advancement of Catholic and Lasallian Education focuses on leadership development, teacher preparation, professional development, outreach and consulting, grants and research, and Lasallian formation. For further information, please contact Larry Wiers, Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Catholic and Lasallian Education, at or 815-836-5790.

Lewis University is an innovative and entrepreneurial Catholic university offering market-relevant undergraduate and graduate programs to 6,500 students. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis University is nationally recognized for preparing intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected and socially responsible graduates. Visit for further information.

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