Marian University sophomore, Brendan Mc Namara, is a highly active leader for social justice issues. Brendan organized students to represent the Marian community and help with the Spirit and Faith Festival. This experience opened his eyes to the racial issues that students of color face and the importance of fighting for the dignity of each person. His is the Student Head of the Film Department for the Marian Knights football team, which also increased his awareness of the difficulties faced by persons of color, especially in receiving quality education and achieving their dreams. Brendan submitted a successful proposal for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day grant, which allowed him to help inform 200 students about current racial issues and provide opportunities for them serve neighboring communities. His leadership and collaboration efforts have resulted in continued discussions and positive actions, and he is currently planning programs for next year. Brendan aspires to be a high school teacher. He will continue his studies in History and Pastoral Leadership with a focus on racial injustices, in order to be better prepared to promote the Franciscan Sponsorship Values as an educator, especially the values of Dignity of the Individual and Peace and Justice.
I first became concerned about racial inequality during my freshman year here at Marian University. I attended a racially diverse private high school, however, I never realized the obstacles people of other backgrounds faced while obtaining a college degree, which can make a difference in our society. My position as the lead student head of the film department for our Knight's football team has opened my eyes more to the issues minority students face. I felt I needed to act. I organized and wrote a grant for the Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service. This day gave over 176 student's information on racial issues and gave them opportunities to serve the elderly in predominately black neighborhoods. We are continuing discussions in order to raise awareness on racial issues. I plan to be a high school teacher and during the next two years here at Marian, I want to continue to not only to learn more on racial issues, but to learn how to respond to them with other students. I am a leader in several student organizations and hope to continue share my passion for the Franciscan Sponsorship Value of Dignity and Justice and Peace and Justice.