River Forest, IL - Dominican University is hosting ¡El Futuro is Here!, a three-day virtual conference with representatives of Catholic colleges and universities and faith-based nonprofit organizations from across the country to explore ways for creating campus ministries and theological pedagogies that are more responsive to the cultural backgrounds of a wide variety of Latinx students. The conference, which will be presented via Zoom from Tuesday, August 3 to Thursday, August 5, follows the first ¡El Futuro is Here! conference held on the Dominican campus in 2018.

Latinx peoples have been part of the fabric of North American Catholicism for more than 500 years. Today, Latinx people constitute the majority of U.S. Catholics under the age of 24 and this rapidly growing population is having a profound effect on the Church and higher education. This conference is designed to help participants representing various collegiate departments work together to understand and appreciate the cultures of their Latinx students and to prioritize their unique educational and theological strengths.

Campus ministers, university mission officers, student leaders and faculty in religious studies departments will be challenged to engage in dialogue and develop action steps that move their institutions, as well as the Catholic Church, toward culturally responsive practices in their respective fields of influence.

A highlight of the conference will be a conversation between Dr. Cecilia González-Andrieu, professor of theology at Loyola Marymount University, and renowned artist John August Swanson. Swanson’s work reflects his Mexican/Swedish heritage in representations of biblical stories and scenes of communal urban life. His narrative art, with its vibrant use of color, is inspired by Mexican muralists, particularly Diego Rivera, medieval tapestries, Byzantine mosaics, Russian iconography and Islamic miniatures. Swanson’s pieces hang in the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History and National Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Vatican Museum.

Keynote speakers for the conference will include Rev. Dr. Eddie DeLeón, a Claretian priest and chair of the Department of Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry at Catholic Theological Union, and Dr. Jeanette Rodriguez, director of the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture and professor of theological studies at Seattle University.

For more information about this conference, contact John DeCostanza, assistant vice president of University Ministry at Dominican University, at jdecostanza@dom.edu or visit https://www.dom.edu/arts-minds/university-events/el-futuro-here

About Dominican University

Dominican University is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) founded in 1901 by the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa. A comprehensive, coeducational Catholic institution, Dominican offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the Rosary College of Arts and Sciences, the Borra College of Health Sciences, the Brennan School of Business and the College of Applied Social Sciences. The university also offers a doctoral degree in information studies. U.S. News & World Report ranks Dominican University #10 of all Midwest regional master’s level universities, the best value in the Chicago area and #1 in Illinois for ensuring the social mobility of its graduates.