MCU Issues Statement of Support in Wake of George Floyd Protests
Dear Mariner Community,
To our African American students, staff and faculty who are carrying the horrible weight of fear, grief and anger, please know Marymount stands with you and for you. Black Lives Matter. To the allies who are searching for meaningful ways to show your support, I urge you to join me in listening to, learning from and amplifying underrepresented voices. We need to do better.
To our larger campus community, I know we are feeling sad, outraged, sickened and frustrated over the savage and senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and other instances of violence against people of color. Over the course of the past few months, we have been painfully reminded of the injustices that exist in America.
Many of us are overwhelmed by the images we see in the media, the escalating tensions and our own emotions. And we should be—this is not the world we want to live in, and this is not the world we can tolerate or support. Compounded by the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s easy to feel particularly helpless. But, you all continue to show me the impact of community, the power of connections and the importance of hearing and being heard.
Many of you have shared your own experiences, and as I hear the stories of inequity, racist assumptions and lack of response to injustice, I know we still have work to do.
As a Catholic community of faith, we believe all human life is sacred. We are heirs of a religious teaching that proclaims all men and women, as children of God, are brothers and sisters. Racism is a sin that divides and degrades the dignity of humankind. Let me assure you Marymount is committed to our tenets of diversity and inclusion, and racism has no place here. Or anywhere.
It is not enough just to denounce injustice or to sympathize with those who suffer from an everyday experience of being treated as inferior or unworthy because of their racial or ethnic identities. The difficulties of these new times demand a new vision and a renewed courage to right the wrongs.
We are a university community, so let’s recommit ourselves to the work that is fitting to us as an academic community. A university’s greatest strength is its intellectual capital—the teaching and learning that occurs both in and outside of the classroom. Everyone has a role in this process of healing. Tapping into our collective talents, we can contribute to the work of educating for justice.
For starters, we are coordinating town hall discussions with our students, faculty and staff beginning next week. We recognize the need for continued conversations that increase our attention to bias, both conscious and unconscious. We will engage you to break down silos that separate us and encourage thoughtful debate that helps us build communities that are truly safe, supportive and inclusive for all.
Brian W.G. Marcotte