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2020 Gather@Grand Program Launch & Reception



Now entering its fifth year of vibrant programming and ministerial outreach, the Gather@Grand speaker series offered by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael continues to present innovative and relevant content for a wide variety of guests and community members. Invitational by design Gather@Grand is meant to be just that—a community gathering in our beautiful Gathering Space—and a way for attendees to learn from and be inspired by a variety of speakers presenting on a wide range of topics. In our continued commitment to bring the Gospel to bear on the critical issues of our time, the Dominican Sisters have put together an engaging line-up for 2020 that centers around one particular topic, racism.


Over the next year, we will unfold a series of presentations and discussions that will follow three separate but interrelated tracks on the topic of racism. We are hosting a Gather@Grand Program Launch & Reception on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, from 7–8:30 pm in the Gathering Space. The evening will include a brief program that will provide some context for our theme of racism as well as an opportunity to meet and hear from the three presenters who will each facilitate one of the three tracks of exploration that will unfold in the months that follow. A schedule of subsequent meeting times for each track will be published soon, but you will find a general overview below. At the end of the March 24 program, there will be a Q&A followed by a reception with light refreshments and a chance to mingle and meet our presenters. You will be able to register for the sessions that appeal to you most. Registration will also be available online.

Kindly register using the link above as seats are limited.

Questions? Please call 415.453.8303

Dominican Sisters of San Rafael present

2020 Gather@Grand Speaker Series: RACISM: Roots, Resolves, Results

“American democracy has never shed an undemocratic assumption present at its founding: that some people are inherently entitled to more power than others.” —Jamelle Bouie American Journalist & columnist for the New York Times

Drawing inspiration from the New York Times Project 1619, Gather@Grand will unfold in three sets of presentations:




Presenter: Mick Chantler

Historian, Educator, Lecturer

Mick Chantler (M.A. History) has been a student and instructor of Early American Studies for more than forty years. He currently teaches at several Bay Area lifelong learning programs, including Sonoma State University, Dominican University, UC Berkeley, and University of Santa Clara. His primary interests include the Revolutionary and Civil War eras, and he has also lectured on Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. Mick is a member of several scholarly organizations including the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, the Lincoln Forum, and the Society for American Baseball Research. 

Overview: By revisiting key moments and figures in U.S. history over the course of seven gatherings, Mr. Chantler will demonstrate the presence of racism and how it played powerfully in events as participants begin to learn to recognize the long-lasting impact that permeates to our present day. Come to one session or all seven, these presentations are designed to provide context and background that we hope you find thought-provoking and useful in exploring the topic of racism throughout our 2020 program.

Over the course of seven sessions, attendees will revisit and re-examine key moments in American race relations through the following presentation topics: The Founding Fathers and Slavery, George Washington; The Founding Fathers and SLavery, Thomas Jefferson; The Expansion of Slavery, The Rise of “King Cotton”; The Dred Scott Case, Racism Enshrined in the Law; Lincoln’s Decision to Emancipate; and Reconstruction and Race—A Window of Opportunity Abruptly Closes.


Tuesdays from 7–8:30 pm

April 28, May 26, June 16,  July 7, July 28, September 8, September 29

Come to one evening, or come to all. Register at www.sanrafaelop.eventbrite.com



 Facilitator: Rochelle Edwards

Founder of the Transformative Justice Institute

Rochelle Edwards, Founder of the Transformative Justice Institute a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is a psychotherapist, restorative justice practitioner, trauma-informed care specialist, visionary, baker and peacemaker. She integrates twenty years of experience working in the criminal justice system and three decades of work as a humanistic psychotherapist.

Overview: The small group format (limited to 12-15) provides a unique opportunity to examine and work with the phenomenon of white privilege while being guided by a facilitator. The aim of these sessions (seven 90-minute sessions and one 4-hour session is to engage in restorative work while exploring the societal occurrence of those who have unwittingly gained position while others have been denied based on the color of their skin. Those interested in this format must commit to the entire schedule for the section since the group facilitation relies on the consistency of attendees.

In this small group, attendees will discuss the topic of systemic racism and white privilege. For life-long learners, re-examining concepts of learned racism is an ongoing process, and it is a personal responsibility to educate oneself and understand this conditioning. By gathering and sharing experiences with others in a circle of safety, inclusion, and compassion, participants can begin to identify their own cultural conditioning and to break down barriers, a process leading to learning and transformation.

REQUIREMENTS: Because of the unique structure of these facilitated small groups, a commitment to attend all seven sessions is necessary for proper impact.



7 Mondays from 7–8:30 pm

Exact dates to be determined by the people who sign up to be in this group after the March 24 event.



Film Guide Designer and Discussion Leader: Nnekay FitzClarke, M.L.I.S , Reference and Instruction Librarian, Dominican University

Nnekay FitzClarke graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in English in 2005, and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from San Jose State in 2007. She has worked in various aspects of librarianship including the Oakland Public Library, Mills College, various Community Colleges around the SF Bay Area, and as the Head Librarian at St. Ignatius College Prep. She currently is a Reference and Instructional Librarian at Dominican University, where she also serves as Co-Chair for the Diversity Action Group on campus. Outside of librarianship Nnekay writes for the comedy group Nice Tan and co-created and sometimes hosts the podcast Minority Korner.

Overview: Using the genre of film, this program explores themes of racism as portrayed in movies. A carefully curated list of seven films will be provided for viewing in advance of a scheduled corresponding gathering that will include a brief presentation with highlights of a couple of specific clips from the film meant to stimulate discussion and further dialogue. Join in one, some, or all as you journey toward a deeper understanding.

The films selected are intended to spark deep discussion and help further the understanding of the 1619 Project and the climate of our country as a whole. Through these films guests will not only get a sense of the African Diaspora but also how slavery has affected and continues to impact our society. Along with the films, guests will receive film titles and discussion points to help unpack and connect ideas, emotions, and experiences with concepts introduced through the other modules of this project. Through viewing and discussing these films guests will be able to establish connections with the other two modules (Roots and Resolves) and hopefully understand the root causes of the issues that affect us today.

REQUIREMENTS: Attendees will be required to pre-screen films, which will be made available in advance. Only clips will be shown at the Gathering so as to spur discussion.


Wednesdays from 7–8:30 pm

April 29, May 20, June 24, July 29, August 19, September 23, October 28

Come to one evening, or come to all.  Register at www.sanrafaelop.eventbrite.com


This event has ended.

March 24, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

1520 Grand Avenue
San Rafael, California 94901