Peace Day 2020 Schedule

2020 Season of Peace, Justice and Care of Creation at UIW

Louis P. Lubbering (1944-2020) feeding cats
Louis P. Lubbering (1944-2020), beloved art teacher at IWHS and UIW, compassionately cared for God's creatures.

Blessing of the Animals, Prayer for Creation on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, October 4, 2020, 5 p.m.

Gather with us online! Get your photos of your pets or have them in your lap as we thank the Creator for them and all of creation. After blessing prayers at about 5:30 p.m., stay for an opportunity to learn more about earth justice - solidarity with all life and compassionate care of the earth.  Learn about planting Compassion Trees as encouraged by our UIW president, Dr. Tom Evans and his family. Co-sponsored by the Incarnate Word Sisters Justice, Peace, and Creation Office.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Working for Social Justice 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 6-7 p.m.

You can view the film here before our discussion.

The film details the extraordinary life and career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second female on the U.S. Supreme Court whose courage and wisdom has contributed to a better country for all. Then join us for a discussion with Brandon Metroka (UIW Political Science Professor), Casey Ogechi Iwuagwu (Past UIW Pre-Law Association President), Alexandria Salas (UIW Title IX Director) and Cynthia Shepperd (South Texas Attorney). LuElla D'Amico (UIW Women's and Gender Studies) will moderate.

You can also visit the UIW library LibGuide about Ginsburg to know her better. This special event is co-sponsored by the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability, UIW Libraries, the Title IX Office, the Political Science Department, Pi Sigma Alpha, UIW Pre-Law and Women's and Gender Studies.

Hispanic History: Reclaiming Our Stories, Celebrating Our Strengths

Thursday, October 8, 2020, 5 p.m.

Learn from Hispanics who have impacted Texas history. Students share in their words and images some of the heroes of our great state from the Handbook of Tejano History. Learn of the woman and men who have built our state, enriched our hearts and stretched our minds.

Take Back the Night

Thursday, October 8, 2020, 6:30 pm

Women and Gender Studies with IEmpower present a Virtual “Take Back the Nights,” with Mari Weymouth and Yorka Velasco-Caballero, leaders of the local women’s non-profit IEMPOWER, followed by an open forum discussion. For information contact: or visit:

A Mural Tour of westside San Antonio will be one of the Nuns on the Bus virtual site visits.
A Mural Tour of westside San Antonio will be one of the Nuns on the Bus virtual site visits.

“Nuns on the Bus,” Who We Elect Matters.

Friday, October 9, 2020, 7-8:30 p.m.

At this critical time in our nation, a series of educational events and a large collection of web resources will be sponsored by NETWORK, a social justice group founded by Catholic Sisters. Join Town Hall meetings and visit sites. View the full event calendar for more information. On this webpage, Nuns on the Bus, click on “Begin your virtual tour” and then click on San Antonio to hear from local Sisters including Sr. Martha Ann Kirk. Learn about the demographics of Texas revealing the weaknesses in care for all. Join the San Antonio-Austin Town Hall for Spirit-Filled Voters. Hosted by the Intercongregational Leadership Group of San Antonio.

During the town hall, Sr. Simone and the Nuns on the Bus will talk about the great urgency of this election and why it’s important for Catholics and other people of faith to be spirit-filled, multi-issue voters. The Town Hall is highly interactive with group discussions.

Digital Equity and Inclusion: Presented by Youth Code Jam 

Saturday, October 10 

9 - 10:30 a.m. for K-6 grade

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. for 7-12 grade

Join us for a virtual workshop for teachers and others who are interested. Discuss local and digital services that are available to individuals and diverse groups of race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, language, gender, culture, ability and other neurodiverse populations. ​Develop strategies to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.​ This event is sponsored by the Dreeben School of Education.

Dr. Evans and family planting a tree
UIW President Thomas Evans, his wife Lisa and son Leland plant a "Compassion Tree" and invite others to join them regreening the earth.

Climate Reality is a High Concern for Compassionate San Antonio

October 10, 2020 watch local media for a live steaming 

A tree planting by Mayor Ron Nirenberg at the Headwaters to Launch Community wide Engagement. Local collaborators, including UIW President Dr. Tom Evans (as pictured), city, environmental, educational and faith-based organizations and nonprofits are taking climate concerns seriously. San Antonians are encouraged to plant 20,000 trees in 2020. Mayor Nirenberg will ceremonially plant a tree and collaborators will share on the local Compassion Tree Project and the global Compassion Tree Project. As reforestation is one of the main ecosystem restoration methods and the most effective way to help decrease global warming. There is a symbiosis between humans and trees that is cultural, spiritual, physical and communal that spans the planet and crosses all time. Our children’s future on the earth depends upon mutual responsibility in this restorative process.  This event coincides within the month-long Climate Action Project  in their observance of 24 Hours of Climate Reality,  

Fauja Singh

Stories Shaping Our World Views

Monday, October 12, 2020, 9 - 10:15 a.m.

Who are we as the people of the U.S.? Consider books for children and how stories form us. Learn from some delightful stories from multifaith and multicultural perspectives for you, the young at heart, as much as for children. Dr. Simran Jeet Singh who works with Religious News Services in New York City. He will share his new children’s book Fauja Singh Keeps Going. Which tells the story of Sikh centenarian Fauja Singh, who in 2011 became the oldest person believed to have run a marathon. Learn of some delightful stories from multifaith and multicultural perspectives for you and the young at heart. Speakers include Dr. Stephanie Grote Garcia, (an overview on stories in education), Dr. Deepti Kharod (Hindu), Dr. Orit Eylon (Jewish), Brandi Coleman, MA (African/Black), Dr. Sumeyra Tek (Muslim) and Lauren Gonzales (Christian/Mexican). Moderated by Sister Martha Ann Kirk who has an Interfaith Youth Core Award to explore. We are each other’s resources and activities to help young people in interfaith cooperation, anti-racism, and service with their communities. Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day remembering that in the U.S., we are people of many faiths and cultures.

"13th" A Film and Discussion 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020, 7 - 9:30 pm

Join us for "13th," an Oscar-nominated documentary about the 13th amendment, slavery and modern incarceration in the US, and followed by a moderated discussion of the issues. Moderators include: Dr. Felix-Ortiz, Professor of Psychology, Brandi Coleman, Education Department and Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, Religious Studies. This event is sponsored by Psyc Society, Psi Chi and NAMI on campus. Please contact Abbey for more information at

Dr. Tonya with Children   

Displaced: Unhomeliness and Community during Times of Crisis

Friday, October 16, 2020, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 

UIW and Ataturk University in Turkey host a virtual symposium exploring how literature and the humanities can help to understand and cope with feelings of displacement, as they relate to the pandemic, migration, or social discrimination and marginalization. Dr. Kevin Vichcales will give the official welcome from UIW and CHASS, Dr. Emily Clark, Dr. Lopita Nath, Dr. Zenon Culverhouse and Dr. Tanja Stampfl will be speaking about The Odyssey, trauma and refugees, and Dr. David Armstrong will be a moderator. UIW student speakers will be Ethan Erevia (English and Philosophy double major) and James Williams (English).

Service Learning During the Pandemic

Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m.   

Join us via zoom as Dr. Stephanie Grote-Garcia from the Dreeben School of Education shares her experiences of continuing service learning during the pandemic. She will share examples from her courses and discuss what has worked, as well as, what continues to be challenging. Examples of connecting service learning to the Catholic Social Teaching Principles will be provided. 

An easy guide to Catholic Social Teaching Principles

  • Human Dignity - Everyone is special!
  • Common Good - What is best for everyone?
  • Solidarity - We are one big family!
  • Subsidaity - People should have a say!
  • Participation - We all want to work and contribute to our communities!
  • Stewardship - We need to take care of the Earth.
  • Preferential Option for the Poor - Some people need extra help.

More on this can be found from Caritas Australia thanks to Dr. Stephanie Grote-Garcia.

Action Research for Social Change

Friday, October 23, 2020, 9-10 a.m.

Dr. Alfredo Ortiz Aragón will share from Action Research, 5th edition, a new book he has co-authored with Ernest T. Stringer. Dr. Ortiz explains that he is, “an action-researcher and designer/facilitator of organizational change processes, working in international and local development contexts for the last 18 years.

"In all of my work, I prioritize critical reflection on how power relationships between people enable and constrain 'desirable' and 'feasible' change. I believe that increased awareness on the role all people play in including and excluding diverse ways of understanding and acting in the world can lead to new perspectives and increased inclusion of marginalized people, causes, ideas and ways of knowing.”  The book includes research that produces practical, effective and sustainable outcomes to real-world problems. Action Research helps students see the value of their research in a broader context, beyond academia, to effecting change on a larger scale.

A video introduction about generating from and for action can be found within the hyperlink. Dr. Ortiz and Dr. Arthur Hernandez are currently using action research for “Community Health and Well Being” a grant helping to make a healthier San Antonio. Watch here.

Peace Day Schedule

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Register in advance to join any or all of the educational opportunities virtually. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Visit the virtual exhibits here

Scheduled Events

Creative Woman

Women, Creative and Compassionate in the Coronavirus Chaos
9 - 10:15 a.m.

A virtual conversation with women in different parts of the world about the pandemic and ways of response including from Taiwan Deborah Hu, a former UIW Exchange Student; from India, Marami Medhi, Kathak Dancer and teacher and her daughter, Megharanjani Medhi, a dancer and actress; Egyptian-American feminist activist, Zahra Vieneuve, from  Global Fund for Women; from Iraq, Roja Abdullah and Merve Atabay.

Brave Spaces
10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Dr. Sandra Guzman Foster will present a deeply moving piece of when people bring up issues of race, culture, and identity, these conversations can quickly become deeply personal and oftentimes emotional.  How do we engage with others about these issues, especially when it comes to race and ethnicity? In this workshop, we will learn to frame conversations to create a safe, brave and affirming space for all. We will learn that it is okay to challenge ourselves, to get out of our comfort zone, to make mistakes, to be vulnerable and learn new things. Come learn how to not only create a brave space but to use this space to have brave conversations. Dr. Guzman Foster is apart of the Dreeben School of Education and a leader in the Wabash grant program “Critical Thinking, Compassion, and Civic Engagement.”  Learn more about Dr. Foster's work here.

International Lunch, Celebrating Cultural Diversity
12 – 1 p.m.

Come to this “virtual lunch” with your favorite food representing your culture. Be ready to reflect on your cultural location and the joys or the limitations of points of view. Join Sheena Connell, Assistant Director of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), who has helped students and scholars from over 89 countries learn to thrive at UIW. Sr. Martha Ann Kirk and Yesenia Caloca who work with Social Justice Leadership Students and the ISSS team. Jose F. Martinez, Sheena Connell and Danielle Vogel who work with international students, faculty and scholars have received an award from the Interfaith Youth Core to be a part of their pilot program "We are each other’s." These resources and activities help lead young people to engage in acts of interfaith cooperation, anti-racism and service with their communities. This will further UIW students being bridge builders between faiths, races and cultures.

See Virtual Exhibits Here

Peace Day Honors Ceremony
1 – 1:20 p.m.

The UIW Student Dietetic Association represented by their President Laura Sepulveda and the Nutrition Department will be applauded for their fine work. The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the United Nation’s World Food Program because authentic security in the world comes when basic human needs are met and there are respect and justice for all. We value Nutrition students who are helping create a peaceful world. Taylor Robinson, a senior  Incarnate Word Academy  (IWA) in Saint Louis, MO, will be introduced and applauded. She used her unique voice to empower others to recognize the importance of equal representation of women and fair treatment of all humanity. Her film was selected and featured as part of the  International Day of the Girl Summit which is normally held at the United Nations but was virtual this year.  Read more about Ms. Robinson and see her film. Presentation by Sr. Martha Ann Kirk.

See Sr. Martha Ann Kirk speak about "the road to peace" in this additional film. 

Women, War and Peace

Mississippi Freedom Summer
1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Dr. Roger Barnes will present this session focused on the Three Civil Rights workers were killed in the summer of 1964 attempting to register Black people to vote. They were killed while safeguarding YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE. To not vote in 2020 is to diminish their loss.

Veterans Taking Action Against Militarism and Endless Wars
3 – 4:15 p.m.

Ideas from "About Face: Veterans Against the War" with Jovanni Reyes, Hart Viges, Jake Tucker, Julie Vaquera and others. “We are a service member and veterans led organization, organizing to end a foreign policy of permanent war and the use of military weapons, tactics and values in communities across the country. As people intimately familiar with the inner workings of the world’s largest military, we use our knowledge and experiences to expose the truth about these conflicts overseas and the growing militarization in the United States.” Jovanni Reyes, a leader in “About Face” enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1993, but came to believe the military was not contributing to a more just and safer world so he resigned in 2007. Moderated by Sister Martha Ann Kirk.

Free Speech Theory: Understanding the Controversies
4:30 – 5:45 p.m.

Dr. Brandon T. Metroka, UIW Department of Political Science, shares from a new book entitled "Free Speech Theory: Understanding the Controversies" he co-edited with Helen J. Knowles. The rallying cry of "Free speech!" has long served as a touchstone for liberals and conservatives, alike, engaged in political polarization conflict and discourse. To rediscover the underlying assumptions and social values served by free expression, and to move current controversies beyond rhetorical flourishes, the editors  assemble an impressive group of legal and political scholars to address one overarching question: "Why should we value free speech?" Through analyses of several recent controversies invoking concerns for free expression, the contributors make complex political theory accessible, informative and entertaining. Beginning with internet neutrality and ending with an overview of developing free expression controversies in comparable western democracies, experts reestablish the link between free expression and the underlying values it may serve. In doing so, this volume unearths values previously unexamined in our modern - but increasingly impoverished and bitter - political discourse. 

Compassion SA Logo

Compassionate SA and SA2020, the UIW Community Transformed and Transforming
6 – 6:50 p.m.

A conversation among UIW community members who are involved in the inaugural SA Compassionate Institute striving to integrate compassion in education at all levels and those involved with SA2020.  The mission of SA2020 is to drive progress toward a shared vision for a thriving San Antonio. This is done by 1) transparently reporting on progress, 2) Engaging and activating the public 3) aligning organizations toward shared goals. Join Dr. Tracie Edmonds, SA2020 Ambassador; and the institute participants, Dr. Trish Driskill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Accounting; Dr. Karen E. Engates, Visiting Professor of Environmental Science; Dr. Bridget Ford, Assistant Professor of Biology; Dr. Jaime Gonzalez, Ph.D. student in the Dreeben School of Education; Dr. Deepti Kharod, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education; Dr. Joan Labay-Marquez, Graduate Studies Coordinator for the Dreeben School of Education; Dr. Trinidad Macias, Director of Graduate Studies; Dr. Emma Santa Maria, Director of Professional Development and an Assistant Professor of Multicultural Education, SOM;  Dr. Linda Solis,  Assistant Professor of Applied Humanities, SOM; Dr. Ana Vallor, Chair of the Department of Biology; Dr. Nürşen A. Zanca, Professor of Economics; and UIW members of the SA institute leadership team Dr. Sandy Guzman Foster and Sr. Martha Ann Kirk.

Register in advance for the Zoom link to join any or all of the educational opportunities virtually. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Earth Justice in Light of Laudato Si
7 - 8 p.m. 

Sustainability is urgent and Pope Francis has invited all people of good will to unite through his writing on “our common home,” Laudato Si. Learn from Diane M. Duesterhoeft, St. Mary’s University, and a member of the Catholic Archdiocesan Task Force to promote Laudato Si, who will share ways we can put faith into action. For the fifth anniversary of Laudato Si, Pope Francis has issued a more urgent call: “The multiple ‘cracks in the planet that we inhabit’ (LS, 163), from the melting ice caps in the Arctic to the raging wildfires in the Amazon, from extreme weather patterns around the world to unprecedented levels of loss of biodiversity that sustain the very fabric of life, are too evident and detrimental to be ignored any more. Pope Francis’ prophetic words continue to ring in our ears: ‘What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?’ (LS, 160) The poor communities around the world are already the early and disproportionate victims of the current ecological degradation and we cannot remain indifferent any longer to the increasingly desperate ‘cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’ (LS, 49).”  Co-sponsored by the UIW Sustainability Advisory Board, SUSTAIN the UIW student organization, and the Incarnate Word Sisters Justice, Peace, and Creation Committee. Learn of the history of Peace Day since 1980's

Virtual Exhibits Live Link 

“Separated: Children at the Border,” EmpoWord: Discussion Night and Movie Series
October 29 2020, Thursday, 7 - 9 p.m.

Join Dr. Maria Felix-Ortiz of the UIW Psychology Department and Dr. Brandon Metroka of the UIW Political Science Department for a viewing and discussion of “Separated: Children at the Border” (2018). This documentary film traces and discusses the Trump Administration’s choice to implement the zero-tolerance policy at the U.S.-Mexico border, imposing separation, detention, and trauma on individuals seeking asylum within the U.S. It also features interviews with migrant parents and children, administration officials, and representatives from immigration interest groups. Part of the Psychology Department Student Clubs’ “EmpoWord Discussion Night and Movie Series,” which promotes discussions of current events and social justice themes. It is co-sponsored by the UIW Pre-Law Society.