NEW ORLEANS, LA – Xavier University of Louisiana has announced the formation of the Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit, an intellectual and physical convening place for research, teaching, community engagement, and debate on issues related to race-based inequities, social identity production and power relations.

According to an press release by the university, the mission of the Center, to be housed on the University campus, will be to engage in, support, and promote innovative thinking in a multiplicity of contexts and across disciplines regarding race, class, systemic inequities, and a faith that does justice toward a better understanding of issues impacting modern societies and vexing the human spirit.

“We are pleased to announce the creation of The Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit which will serve as an anchor, a magnet, and a beacon reflecting and furthering our calling, as a Historically Black and Catholic university, to help create a more just and humane society,” said Dr. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University. “We envision that it will become a cornerstone for individuals and groups seeking to elaborate new theories and verify others by studying and advocating and beyond, engaging in empirically verifiable social change work.”

Verret also announced that Dr. David Robinson-Morris, who holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research from LSU, will serve as director of the Center. Robinson-Morris will concurrently continue to serve as Xavier’s Director or Corporate and Foundation Relations and as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Education and Counseling.

“The Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit at Xavier will be a vibrant and critical research, teaching, and public engagement space,” said Robinson-Morris. “Though it we will explore issues in society that are embedded in our intellectual programs and across academic disciplines such as political, social, and systemic inequities in public health/health equities, crime and social justice, bioethics, Black Catholic Studies, African and African-American Diaspora Studies, urban policies, education policy studies, socially responsible entrepreneurship, and community health.”

“At this moment in our history, the Center of Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit at Xavier is a vital catalyst and conduit of critical dialogue, research, policy advocacy, and community convening and agent of social change aimed at raising awareness of systemic injustices, inequities, and issues that vex the human spirit,” he added. “As the only historically Black and Catholic institution of higher learning in the country, we are aptly poised to addresses the issues of day through the lends of a faith tradition that seeks always to do justice, which is how love shows itself in the public sphere.”

In keeping with the mission of Xavier, the Center will organize conferences, seminars, lectures, and community assemblies that bring together area experts, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and in the community with diverse interest and backgrounds.


Xavier of Louisiana, founded by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, is Catholic and historically Black. The ultimate purpose of the University is to contribute to the promotion of a more just and human society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society. This preparation takes place in a diverse learning and teaching environment that incorporates all relevant educational means, including research and community service. For more information, visit

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