Professors Discuss Building a ‘Beloved Community’

by The Cowl Editor on January 24, 2019


By Matthew Mazzella ’20

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Providence College hosted Dr. Comfort Ateh, associate professor of education, and Maco L. Faniel, professor of black studies, for its’ monthly FaculTEAS event on January 22, 2019.

This event was held in rememberance and reflection on Reverand Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,’s legacy.

FaculTEAS is an event that takes place every month and gives students and staff a chance to talk over a cup of tea and discuss social issues around the world and on campus.

Because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, this month’s gathering was geared toward discussing Rev. Dr. King’s idea of a “Beloved Community,”and how it can be created here at the College.

King’s definition of a “Beloved Community” is a community where people recognize their interconnectedness with each other based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings.

Many of the conversations focused on inclusivity and working on listening and empathizing with other people around campus. They also stressed the importance of putting prejudices aside and understanding people for who they really are and what their story is.

Having the chance to discuss these topics with different types of people at FaculTEAS is an exceptional opportunity to get the ball rolling on social issues in today’s society and how to apply them to life on campus.

Faniel believes this event is a good way for people to start talking about change on campus. Faniel says “our focus is getting students and faculty to understand and engage with the responsibility for creating the Beloved Community right here at Providence College.”

Elizett Pires, assistant director of student activities and cultural programming, believes that “FaculTEAS’s goal is to get teachers and students to talk in an environment that is different than that of a classroom discussion setting. The purpose is to be in a comfortable setting for people to talk and speak their minds about the issues that matter around the world, and at PC. Students don’t always speak their full opinions in a classroom, so this event allows them to talk about their ideas in a pressure free setting.”

Pires also believes that more students should take advantage of events like these to begin speaking their minds. 

She says, “People will see the mugs from the event and could be curious and begin talking about it. The best way to get people to attend these events is through word of mouth. We want to promote the event as a place for students to enjoy talking to other staff members over a cup of tea, which happens to be from a new country every time.”

FaculTEAS is a great way for students and staff to voice their opinions together through discussion, as well as generate ideas on how to create change on campus. 

This event commemorated the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, as well as gave students and staff a chance to look through his eyes and find ways to incorporate his ideas of a Beloved Community at the College.