Ryan was born in Pittsburgh, and grew up in Dresher, PA. He studied Psychology, Theology and Theatre at Villanova University (Go Cats!) before joining the AVs as a Physical Education and Computer Teacher. Ryan entered this year because he believes that education is a key factor in dismantling racial oppression in the US. He is looking forward to dialoguing with his community about how God calls us to use our privilege to break cycles of oppression. Black Lives Matter.
I, Michael Ryan Henderson, commit myself to be an Augustinian Volunteer, to care for myself and my community as I walk alongside those I serve.
Share one of your favorite quotes.
“From Abbott, I learned discipline; I learned respect for the craft; show up on time; do your job well; don’t indulge yourself; don’t suffer fools, even for one minute; don’t indulge histrionics; apply to it many of the same criteria that you would any other job you do. Then have fun.” – Hal Prince
How did you develop a passion for service?
I followed my passion for physical fitness and technology and belief that quality education is central to ending racial oppression to find this position. A passion for service didn’t lead me here; I followed my passion for the subjects I teach and have discovered a love for the work.
Name one of your favorite musical artists.
Gustav Holst, Tyler the Creator
What’s a favorite book of yours or a recent book you read?
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber
Share an issue you’re passionate about and why.
As a speech perception researcher, I’m passionate about the words we use to describe oppression. A lot of our current vocabulary disregards people’s life experience or misrepresents the history of issues. For example, the term “reverse racism” makes no sense and assumes that racism has only ever been directed at people of color. Also, Black trans rights are human rights.
Best moment as an AV to date?
Catching the sunrise at La Jolla Beach and then (laughably) attempting to surf.
What do you like most about living in your new city so far?
As a friend of mine put it, “San Diego’s natural beauty is unfair” – I can’t count the number of captivating flowers I’ve passed walking home from work. Don’t get me started on the views!
One word that describes your community-living experience is…