The founding director of the Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit (CEJHS) at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), Dr. David Robinson-Morris, has announced his departure, effective December 31st.
"Sharing this news now simply lets us begin the transition and allows me to be public about my next adventure and the new opportunities it will provide," he said in a statement.
Having arrived at XULA—the nation's first and only Black Catholic university—in summer 2016 and founded the CEJHS in 2018, he also served as assistant vice president of development in the Division of Institutional Advancement and as assistant professor in the Division of Education and Counseling.
CEJHS Program Coordinator Caryn Blair will manage the center for now, according to Robinson-Morris.
Throughout his 4.5-year tenure, Robinson-Morris has been an ardent supporter of all manner of Black social causes, including education and criminal justice reform, environmental justice, the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQIA+ causes.
In 2019, the CEJHS received a $500,000 Kellogg Foundation Grant, which in part "allowed the Center in a very short duration to build a reputation for honest dialogue, truthful discourse, and Black-centered public intellectual engagement for purposes of achieving equity, pursuing justice, and uplifting the human spirit."
Despite the pandemic, Robinson-Morris' work at the Center culminated in a number of events both during the summer and in the current academic semester.
"In the last two years and nearly five months, the Center has held 26 events engaging over 3,500 constituents and hosted over 22 meetings for both internal and external audiences. On the Human Spirit, the Center’s bi-weekly newsletter reaches over 1,700 subscribers or unique visitors at each dissemination."
While Robinson-Morris is taking a position in nonprofit healthcare administration, he hopes to maintain a presence at XULA "via a university faculty appointment".
"My sincere hope, in the words of Toni Morrison, is that I’ve done my real job. Morrison writes, our “real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” "
Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder of Black Catholic Messenger, a priesthood applicant with the Josephites, and a ThM student w/ the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).