Emily Seru BA ’98

08/31/2021

Emily Seru BA ’98 writes: “I am the associate director of the Center for Community Work and Learning at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Most of my work involves working with faculty to engage students with community-based efforts connected to what they are learning in the classroom. When COVID hit, we had to transition all community-engaged learning to virtual formats. I found myself facilitating difficult conversations about structural racism in an online platform, leading students through the Mapping Prejudice Project. Students transcribed and documented racial covenants in housing deeds and helped build a map that serves as a visual representation of the history and lasting legacies of racial segregation in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It was so hard, but also really rewarding, to provide students with a space to process everything that was happening in the Twin Cities with George Floyd’s murder and the following unrest and protest movements. They needed a place to be real with each other, even if it was through a screen and even if their cameras were turned off in the large group or in the small group breakout sessions. I was humbled and learned a ton this past year. I am so grateful to my work, home, and neighborhood communities.”