John Francis Regis Day is back for the 2018-2019 academic year. As with last year's initiative, this year the Regis community will be invited to study the chosen social justice topic not just for one day in May, but throughout the course of the whole school year. This year, John Francis Regis Day will tackle women's issues. Our theme is "Do you see me? The experience of the 51%."
The title, inspired in part from Luke's Gospel, is meant to stir the imagination and encourage an increased consciousness about the experience of women in America. In chapter 7 of Luke, Jesus is invited to the house of a leading Pharisee. While there, a woman washes Jesus' feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair. The Pharisee's private judgment about her reputation and the implications for Jesus prompts Jesus to ask him, "Do you see this woman?" Through a Catholic and social justice lens then, we are asked again how we all see.
The second part of our title derives from the fact that women make up 51% of the human population. But it might well be argued that women do not have concomitant equity in many areas of life.
Why is this? How well do we see women in America?
While there are many benefits to attending an all-boys school, such as the bonds shared and the camaraderie developed, the reality is that one's classmates at Regis are not entirely representative of the world around him. This year's John Francis Regis Day topic is meant to bridge that gap, to help students empathize with women and to understand the multi-faceted and complex issues of their experiences.
“It is precisely because we are an all-boys school that we should embark in discussions about women's issues," Christian Mariano '99, Assistant Principal for Student Life and Formation, said. “By opening our eyes and our hearts to this year's John Francis Regis Day topic, I hope we are moved to act more sensibly, compassionately, and more justly, as Men for Others."
Through a variety of media, discussions, events, and presentations, John Francis Regis Day 2019 will present students with insights into women's lives and experiences in America from historical, psychological, personal, and spiritual perspectives.
The goal for this year is to lean to see, to listen, and to know more about the 51% and the indispensable place of women in all of our lives, and to bring about a consciousness and awareness of women's issues that informs our daily behaviors and actions.
“As with each John Francis Regis Day theme, we are asking our students to see and to experience what life is like for others, and in this case, it's women in America," said Ms. Gena Reisig, JFR Day committee member and history department chair. “We hope that by focusing on three main areas—violence against women, workplace and wage discrimination, and women's health—we will give students a better understanding of the struggles that face 51% of our population. We don't, however, want to simply present statistics and preach at our students. Our goal is to help students empathize and understand, and from there, grow."
The year will kick off with a presentation and discussion on November 14.