Pat Reif, PhD, was a heartfelt activist who stood up for many, including immigrants enduring mistreatment. Starting the Immaculate Heart College Center, she believed deeply in social justice and theology influencing each other, pushing on for those who needed a voice of strength. According to the Los Angeles Times, she was the founder of the feminist spirituality master’s program at the Center.
In her spirit, speakers who are both activists and scholars are chosen to give the annual Pat Reif Lecture. This year's virtual event will feature Valarie Kaur, who will share her vision for an improved world. It will be held on October 4, 2021, from 7-9 pm.
Earning her law degree and founding the Yale Visual Law Project, Kaur is a well-known civil rights leader who has helped to change policy in areas such as immigration detention and racial profiling. Her talk will focus on the power of love in a world which desperately needs it. “She says in a time of violence that revolutionary love can be an answer to help those who are suffering and that you can achieve this through prayer, activism and more,” says Laurie Wright Garry, PhD, chair of the religious studies department and associate professor.
The religious studies department has co-sponsored the annual Pat Reif Lecture with Claremont University and the Immaculate Heart Community for more than 15 years. “The conference is a very strong fit for us with the Sisters of St. Joseph’s long-held beliefs in loving the dear neighbor and reaching out to those who need it the most,” Garry says. “It benefits the students and the community to hear speakers of this stature.”
Mount Saint Mary’s president, Ann McElaney-Johnson, PhD, will give one of the welcome addresses at the event.
“It’s one more example of showing the importance of reaching across and working with other universities to show we are all striving for a world that is more just,” Garry says.
Note: To attend the lecture, contact Janice Poss, Pat Reif Memorial Lecture Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, who will email a Zoom invitation. For those who are unable to attend, a recording will be made available after the lecture.