Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
Words are inadequate today. But words are important as we try to make sense of this moment. As we begin to process the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, we must acknowledge and try to understand the pain, hurt, and anger that members of our community, especially those who racially self-identify as Black, might be experiencing. We also continue to offer our sincere sympathy to the family of George Floyd, as they grieve the loss of their loved one. We stand in solidarity with all of you, offering support and accompaniment.
During this time, we might be experiencing a range of emotions, including relief, disbelief, confusion, and the sadness and anger that can come from grief. Waiting and watching through the trial might have awakened or reawakened a lack of faith in the justice system, particularly regarding its ongoing treatment of persons of color. Some of us are sitting with the realization that the conclusion of this case does not bring a sense of resolution and satisfaction. The harm, the pain, is intense and lasting.
Professionals across the University have identified resources and spaces for our community as we process the news surrounding the verdict—both individually and together. We want to make sure we offer opportunities for prayer, comfort, and connection. Here are some of the resources we are putting in place:
- 12:10 p.m. Mass tomorrow: Members of our community are welcome to gather in-person or virtually in prayer for the 12:10 p.m. Mass in Alumni Memorial Chapel on Wednesday, April 21, as we pray for justice, healing, and the loss of lives.
- Community Prayer: You are also invited to gather as a community for prayer at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21, on the Quad in front of the chapel. Please remember to wear your mask and engage in social distancing.
- COMloquium: The Karson Institute on Race, Peace, and Social Justice will host a community-wide conversation on "How We Can ReThink Policing, Equity, and Justice in the Black and Brown Communities" on Thursday, April 22, from Noon-1:30 p.m.
- Continued Action for Anti-Racism: Student clubs and organizations have shared they will be hosting multiple events to move toward advocacy and honor the Black and Brown lives lost.
- Online Resources for Support: The Counseling Center has compiled resources related to responding to secondary trauma at Loyola.edu/ChauvinTrialResources.
- Professional Support on Campus: You are invited to seek assistance from professionals in Campus Ministry, ALANA Services, the Women’s Center, and the Counseling Center, who look forward to working with you.
Please accept this gentle reminder to take care of yourself in this moment, giving yourself the space you need and seeking out support that allows you to respond to and process during this historic, emotional time. Taking care of yourself is key.
Our university’s Jesuit, Catholic identity calls us to be Ignatian citizens who are immersed in the work of justice. It can be difficult to see how we can each be part of a path to create greater justice today and tomorrow. It is essential, though, to let yourself grieve, process, and recognize that when you are ready, we each have a role to play in being an advocate and activist for justice—and for peace.
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.