Loyola Karson Institute Honors Professor’s Father

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AFRO Columnist and Loyola University Professor Dr. Kaye Whitehead, right, pictured with her father Karson Wise Sr. Dr. Whitehead named the recently launched Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice in his honor. (Photo by Dr. Kaye Whitehead)

By Jessica Dortch
AFRO News Editor

Loyola University launched the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice in a virtual reception on Oct. 28, specifically to address racial issues in the city and country. The Institute’s founding director is none other than AFRO columnist and Loyola University’s Associate Professor of Communication and African American Studies Dr. Karsonya “Kaye” Whitehead.  

The institute is named after Dr. Whitehead’s father, Karson Wise Sr., and is now a dream turned reality for them both. In the early 2000s, Dr. Whitehead felt a call to work with Loyola University and since then, has received an outpouring of support on initiatives now including the formation of the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice. 

“…Students from all over the county can come to Loyola University and they can find a place where their voice can be heard, where their dreams will be supported and where the work will actually matter,” Dr. Whitehead passionately expressed during the reception. “They don’t have to prove to the world that they matter, Loyola has shown that with the Karson Institute,” she added.

The institute will be a hub for discussions and information about race, equality and injustice. “Under the leadership of Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead, the Karson Institute for Race, Peace & Social Justice will serve as an invaluable resource and incubator for cutting-edge research aimed to advance racial equity and justice,” said Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., chief equity and inclusion officer. Students, faculty and professionals will be able to receive training and other resources to help them understand and heal from racial trauma. 

Wise, name holder of the institute, expressed his gratitude during the reception, “It’s an honor today and many thanks to all who have supported and who have prayed for her and us along the way. To God be the glory.” 

Dr. Whitehead will hold monthly virtual discussions with experts from around the country, with this month’s conversation centered on medical bondage. There will also be a blog dedicated to exploring these topics, and more, in depth on the Karson Institute website. 

For students enrolled in Dr. Whitehead’s Social Media for Justice course will be featured on the website in one-minute video “talkbacks” of each monthly session. Find more information at www.loyola.edu/join-us/karson-institute