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Blog by Associate Colette Parker

Does the name William Felton Russell mean anything to you?

If not, maybe you know him by Bill Russell — the 11-time NBA champion, five-time MVP, 12-time All Star, Olympic gold medalist, two-time NCAA champ and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom who fought for civil rights his entire career, financially supported the movement as one the NBA’s biggest stars, held his Boston Celtics team’s fans accountable for their racism, and convinced his entire organization to forfeit a game because a restaurant wouldn’t serve black customers..

Did you know that just last week he accepted his Hall of Fame ring, despite being inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975?

Forty-four years.

What took so long for the basketball legend (and the first African-American player to be elected to Hall of Fame) to acknowledge the honor? (He essentially boycotted the ceremony back in 1975 for “his own personal reasons”)?

We got the answer last week, after he accepted his Hall of Fame ring in a private ceremony at his home – he was waiting for the NBA to induct Chuck Cooper, the first African-American player drafted by the NBA (in 1950).

That finally happened this year.

The moral of this story, for me: We are all standing on someone’s shoulders – benefiting from the work and experiences of those who came before us.

Whose shoulders are you standing on?

And who is standing (or will stand) on yours?

“You have been paid for. Each of you, Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Red — whatever pigment you use to describe yourselves—has been paid for. But for the sacrifices made by some of your ancestors, you would not be here; they have paid for you. So, when you enter a challenging situation, bring them on the stage with you; let their distant voices add timbre and strength to your words. For it is your job to pay for those who are yet to come.”  — Maya Angelou

Posted in Associate Blog, News


Blog by Associate Colette Parker

Did you hear about the Gulf War Army Veteran who got picked up by the police, as he was walking along an Alabama highway?

No. It’s not a joke.

It’s a “good news” story. And I love good news stories because they are inspiring and encouraging and build trust and hope in humankind.

So, here’s what reportedly happened:

Gerald David Baldwin set out to walk to an appointment at a VA hospital – 100 miles away. Someone spotted him walking along a highway, with his portable oxygen tank, and called police. A sheriff’s deputy responded and discovered that the veteran (with 22 years of service) needed to get to his appointment or risk losing some of his benefits.

The deputy – Walker County Sgt. Kevin Emberg – agreed to drive Baldwin to the county line, with the assistance of Deputy Chris Doerr, who arranged for deputies in three neighboring counties to transport Baldwin to his appointment. The four departments then made the reverse trip to get Baldwin home.

Now, a social media post by one of the departments is garnering interest in helping Baldwin with reliable transportation and to connect with services for veterans.

Doesn’t that make you feel good and strengthen your faith in humanity? – that is a benefit of good news: positive vibes and positive thinking.

Just like the deputies who went above and beyond their call of duty to make the world a better place, we each have the power to make the world a better place – and write our own “good news” story — one small act of kindness at a time.

What will you do TODAY to make a difference?

Posted in Associate Blog


Blog by Associate Colette Parker

I know you’ve seen it – the holiday merchandise on display in retail stores.

(Yes. I know, it’s been out for weeks – even in the same aisle as the Halloween merchandise).

Those displays have given me an idea: what if we shift our thoughts from presents to presence during the Christmas season of gratitude and giving by sharing gifts that reach beyond store-bought trinkets?

There are countless ways we can share gratitude, support, and love. Here are a few:

  • Spend time with those who are lonely.
  • Listen to someone who needs to be heard.
  • Write a note of appreciation to family and friends.
  • Volunteer at a local food pantry.
  • Donate supplies to a school.
  • Bake a treat for a neighbor, co-worker, or friend
  • Prepare/share a meal for/with someone who lives alone.
  • Devote quality time to family and friends.
  • Go caroling at a nursing home.
  • Rake leaves/shovel snow for a senior.
  • Relax with loved ones.

Let’s remember why we celebrate this glorious holiday in the first place: Almighty God decided to give an undeserving humanity the truest and most precious gift that has ever been given in His Son Jesus.

And while we’re making the most of this holiday season, let’s remember that there are always opportunities to give throughout the year!

What are some ways that you can give of yourself this holiday season?

Posted in Associate Blog, News

2019 Education Sponsorship Meeting

Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, OH, hosted the 2019 Education Sponsorship Meeting on October 24 and 25.

Dr. Kathy Lechman, Associate Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity at The Ohio State University, addresses the Education Sponsorship Meeting.

This annual gathering brings together the presidents, board, chairs, delegates, and other representatives of our sponsored educational ministries: Albertus Magnus College (New Haven, CT); Ohio Dominican University (Columbus, OH); Dominican Academy (New York, NY); Our Lady of the Elms School (Akron, OH); St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School (Memphis, TN); and St. Mary’s Dominican High School (New Orleans, LA).

The meeting included opportunities for prayer, community building, and networking among our educational ministry leaders.

This year’s guest speaker was Dr. Kathy Lechman, Associate Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. Dr. Lechman’s topic, Equity and Inclusion: The Missing Pieces, addressed issues around diversity, equity and implicit bias.

Sr. Pat Twohill, OP, (left) looks on as outgoing Albertus Magnus Board Chair Jeanne Dennison, (center) is gifted an original painting by former Albertus professor Sr. Thoma Swanson, OP (right).

During the event, outgoing Albertus Magnus Board Chair Jeanne Dennison, ’78, was presented with a special painting of New Haven’s beloved East Rock by former Albertus Magnus professor Sr. Thoma Swanson.

Click here for additional photos.

Posted in Associate Blog

Protect Your Honor

Blog by Director of Associates Colette Parker, OPA

What does it mean to be honorable?

That question has been bouncing around in my mind since I heard the remarks of former President Barack Obama during the funeral service of the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.).

This is what he said: Honorable, “this is a title that we confer on all kinds of people who get elected to public office — We’re supposed to introduce them as honorable. But Elijah Cummings was honorable before he was elected to office. There’s a difference.”

So what exactly is the difference?

Bestowing the title “the honorable” on someone who holds an office is an acknowledgment of their position – it is a courtesy. An honorable person, on the other hand, is someone who is honest, fair, and worthy of respect, someone who believes in truth and doing the right thing.

For honorable people, integrity matters.

Honorable people care for others.

Honorable people are truthful.

Honorable people strive to do what is right.

Honorable people accept personal responsibility.

Honorable people are resilient.

Honorable people make a difference.

Honorable people live for something greater than themselves.

Honorable people can look at themselves in the mirror with a clear conscience.

Now, you fill in the blank: Honorable people _________________________________.

Posted in Associate Blog, News