Aurora Camacho De Schmidt – Commencement Address – Graduate Studies Inaugural Commencement

Aurora Camacho De Schmidt – Commencement Address – Graduate Studies Inaugural Commencement


professor Scott browning PhD
longest-serving tenured faculty member in the School of Graduate Studies will
now introduce Arora Camacho Dermot who will deliver the commencement address
dr. browning thank you sister Carol those graduating
today have chosen a field where in her or his hope is to both have a wonderful
career and to help people in some way some of you will assist others by
teaching or provide providing psychological services each person who
chooses to help others looks for a population to assist for dr. Aurora
Camacho dish MIT professor emeritus from Swarthmore College her academic studies
in philosophy as well as Spanish and American
literature evolved into a focus on the intersection of literature and the
social struggles in Mexico and Central America dr. Camacho De Smet aimed her
desire to help immigrant farmworkers her good works occurred in the streets in
the boardrooms and through her writings she was a member of the Quaker
Association Friends Service Committee she served as a board member of juntos a
philadelphia-based immigrant led advocacy group participating in the
activities of the new sanctuary movement dr. Camacho dushman has worked to assist
those in need joined protests and provided interpretations in union
negotiations throughout her career dr. Camacho
dushman have found ways to use both the power of
poetry and the power of protest to assist the chronically underserved and
oppressed in some cases one may be both professionally accomplished and driven
to do good work such a woman joins us here today please welcome your
graduation speaker dr. Aurora Camacho dismissed well after listening to Jazmin and I was
just going to say just feel that graduation has already happened but this
is a precious moment and I am so happy to be able to address the class the
Chestnut Hill College graduate class of 2019 welcome welcome to this precious
moment outside normal time none of us would be seen in this garb at a Phillies
game or having lunch at Bruno’s ritual garments consecrate your graduation
today it’s a special moment you all look beautiful from here I’ve had written
this down hoping it would be the case but now I see that it really is the case it’s not only you as an individual who
are beautiful but also the collective entity that you will always be the
Graduate class of 2019 if we could see the relationships that
you have built among yourselves in the last three or five years we would see a
grid more impressive than the electric nerves of New York City and equally able
to give off light and power you overcame tensions conquer differences and build
friendships many of them poised to last a lifetime you are awesome you are
awesome I wish to talk to you about the deep past that created your presence
about the history that is part of your lives since you have been graduate
students both the good and bad historical events and what I see as a
response that is expected expected of all of us if we want a world where life
can flourish for future generations astronomers tell us that the universe is
almost 14 billion years old when cannot even imagine that time while our planet
has been around for less than a third of that early modern humans appeared
200,000 years ago and human language has only been heard
for the last 50,000 years barely a blink of universal time our oldest written
records were produced 4200 years ago years before the invention of computers
and this is all to say that humanity is only a late instant in the cosmic clock
but humans came along they were willed from the very beginning Valtor Benjamin
the German Jewish philosopher a victim of the Third Reich contemplates human
history and exclaims we have been expected upon the earth you who exist at
the peak of time came into existence thanks to two biological parents many
may be here with you for grandparents eight great-grandparents and if we go on
back and back to the tenth generation that produced you that means that you
would have 1,024 ancestors each of you who lived roughly 300 years ago each of
them in giving life to their immediate offspring eventually gave life to you
you carry traces of their bodies and perhaps nuances of their spirit even
when none of them could have imagined you or this moment we do not know their
names their faces the different languages they spoke the way they
worshipped their sufferings or their joys but still today you do honor to the
planet that has been expecting you and to all the human beings that went before
you contribute it to your presence in this place and time you are awesome
the Hebrew Scriptures say in Genesis and God saw everything that God had made
and behold it was all very good you members of the class of 2019 have been
loved into being let’s come to this place your graduate school when I look
at the institution itself and what your professors are doing teaching writing
and researching when I see the titles of the dissertations the doctoral
candidates among you have written it is clear that you all belong to an ethos of
service that cannot be improvised but is the result of decades of hard work
reflection and knowing how to read the signs of the times all embodied in the
corporate entity that is Chestnut Hill College the dictionary says that ethos
is the characteristic spirit of a culture era community manifested in its
beliefs and aspirations you became a student in a place that houses an
Institute for forgiveness and reconciliation
not too many colleges or universities have something like that you belong to a
university that welcomes a wide variety of capable students and believes in
preparing actors for social change through education counseling and
clinical psychological intervention or therapy you will teach advise orient
support imagine and plan will tiered Human Services you will heal people your
areas of study list among many other impressive emphases that of working with
diverse and underserved communities nothing is easy about adopting such a
goal believe me it requires determination and hope and it is a work
of entire waves of people with many skills and training committed to the
dream of equality to set a car to sell a car to the works of mercy depending on
whether you read the Torah or the Quran or the Gospels but even if you do not
read any of those your ethos has a deep ethical
dimension whether you are already on track for a job in the coming months or
are still clueless about your next step and believe me there is freedom in
cluelessness you will be part of the growing nonviolent army of people who
want to restore a human face toward country and our endangered planet I said
before before you had been loved into being I want to add that you have been
loved into becoming the professionals that you are becoming today you are
awesome and your institution is awesome in the last five or three years your
degrees have required you were fully immersed in the world where marvels
happen all the time but also terrible things Horrors like the war in Yemen
Syria and Gaza Strip floods fires earthquakes in effect affected
impoverished communities and then there is the fooled ecological degradation the
planet faces in the United States mass shootings in synagogues mosques churches
and schools one just two days ago our resurgent I’m sorry a resurgence in the
public acceptance of racism and xenophobia clerical sexual abuse of
young men women and especially children the largest prison population in the
country’s history at 2.2 million people an economy that continues to foster ever
widening inequality a president who believes it is in his nation’s interest
to separate children from their immigrant parents from catastrophic
events like these many adverse childhood experiences and traumatic stresses
developed making each of your work more necessary than ever in the classroom the
service agency or the therapy clinic but we also have constantly wonders
happening around us some as joyous as victories in sports fabulous films music
or books and some particularly transcendent events in public life four
years ago the Supreme Court declared gay marriage legal in 50 States district
courts stopped executive policies that were deemed unconstitutional Sheikh
Ahmed el-tayeb and Pope Francis signed a document on human fraternity for world
peace not two centuries ago we had Crusades wars against these two bloc’s
of religious belief large numbers of people all over the nation have staged
demonstrations on behalf of women’s rights and street safety for
african-american youth they have opposed immigration policies and restrictions on
certain refugee admissions the detention of children and the building of an
absurd border wall there is a resistance movement already at work a resistant
movement movement that needs all of us because this is a new historical era we
are its interpreters and the designers of our own struggles for justice but we
have powerful allies Audrey Lorde a feminist thinker precursor of the
LGBTQ movement civil rights activist and great poet told us as if she had lived
in the last three years in her native New York and understood our historical
moment today difference must not be merely tolerated it needs to be seen as
a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a
dialectic only then does the necessity for interdependency becomes
unthreatening only within that interdependence e of different strengths
acknowledged and equal can the power to signal
of being in the world generate as well as the courage and sustenance to act
where there are no charters no Maps class of 2019 you fill our hearts with
hope fill our hearts with hope as you leave Chester Hill College where you
have worked so hard and learn so much please become signs of hope wherever you
go the kind of hope that is much more than optimism or a smiley face costly
hope audacious hope as Princeton professor Cornel West calls it the kind
of hope that French philosopher Gabrielle Marcel named as the only
possible human response to our world he said hope consists in asserting that
there is at the heart of being beyond all data the yon dog inventories and all
calculations a mysterious principle which is in complicity with me in other
words that entity that is on our side and passionately desires our fulfilment
and a good a good world a good world of peace so I make a wish today that your
strong work as professionals may be marked by that strong hope Mexican poet
Octavio Paz could have been describing your moment your graduation of communion
and insight when he wrote and with this I will end las máscaras Madrid as casa
para el hombre de los hombres y el hombre del mismo seller Ruben por un
instante immense oh hi bazoom BrahMos nuestro need ad perdida eldest Amparo
que ser embrace la gloria kaiser hombres y compartir el pan el sol la muerte el
Alvarado asam bro the star divas in English
the rotten masks that divide human beings from each other and humans from
themselves collapse for an infinite moment and we glimpse at our lost unity
the helplessness of being human the glory of being human and to share bread
sunshine death The Forgotten astonishment of being alive
congratulations graduate class of 2019 you

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