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Fr. William J. Ferree Chair of Social Justice


The Father William J. Ferree Chair of Social Justice works with partners on and off campus to integrate the Catholic approach to social justice into the curriculum, research, and community engagement throughout the university.

Catholic and Anti-racist?

The University of Dayton’s commitment to anti-racism is consistent with our Catholic and Marianist identity, which upholds the dignity of all people. Nevertheless, Catholicism is deeply entangled with the history of racism and the colonial imagination that Catholicism helped to shape continues to affect our entire society. This year’s Ferree Lecture drew together the fruits of a year in which faculty and staff came together to reflect on the reality of our history, the possibilities that open up when a Catholic and Marianist university commits to being anti-racist and some directions for the work ahead. 

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Into the Deep

How often we are tempted to keep close to the shore! Yet the Lord calls us to put out into the deep and let down our nets. - Gaudete et Exsultate, #130

Learn about those who are working boldly for social justice at local, national, and international levels.

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Keep up with programs and events that focus on social justice issues at the local, national and international levels.

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Past Events

Learn how the Ferree Chair has engaged in events with other campus offices to promote an increased awareness of the Catholic approach to social justice.

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About Fr. Ferree
Fr. Ferree taught that the act of social justice is organizing people to shape social structures that promote the common good.
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About the Current Chair

University of Dayton associate professor of religious studies Kelly Johnson became the first holder of the Father William J. Ferree Chair of Social Justice in July 2019.

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Graduate Assistantships

The Fr. Ferree Chair Graduate Assistantship offers an opportunity for a student to work on promoting, interrogating, and advancing Catholic social tradition in collaboration with a diverse community of scholars, students, and community leaders.

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Contact Us

Fr. William J. Ferree Chair of Social Justice
433 St. Joseph's Hall
University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-1442


Email Kelly Johnson

Photo, top of page: Shared with the permission of the Marianist Province of the United States from FamilyOnline, Volume 17, Number 4.