Dear Members of the Loyola Community,
As protests and conversations around racism continue around our nation, members of our university community are engaged in painful discussions and taking action. We must come together, however, to consider what more we can and should do as individuals and as a university community. We can be part of constructive change—but we must seize the moment and move forward with intentional, deliberate steps.
We are deeply troubled and angered by the horrendous impact of police brutality on African American persons. It is important to recognize that racism is often not so overt. We can see patterns of the systemic racism that has traumatized our society for generations; a current example of that impact is apparent in the way COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Black members of our communities. We need to acknowledge that racism means that we have Black neighbors who live in fear and pain and with extraordinary stress each day.
Racism also means that members of our own Loyola community are suffering from acts of bias and exclusion and hatred. As an institution, we feel great remorse and responsibility for the way we have knowingly and unknowingly contributed to the systemic racism and to the pain and injustice members of our community have experienced. We recognize that is not who we are and what we are called to be as a Jesuit, Catholic university community. We are striving to do better as we work together to create a more inclusive, equitable Loyola. We can and will never be at peace as long as there is injustice in our world—and within our own Loyola community.
As a community, we are committed to being contemplatives in action. In this moment, we urge you to seek out opportunities to learn about anti-racism and identify ways you can help bring about change within yourself and within our community. Coretta Scott King said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members, a heart of grace, and a soul generated by love.”
We are a community that is intended for greatness. We invite you to lean into our Jesuit tradition, embrace all that is best about our community, and step up to work against racism and for justice.
Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., NCC
Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.