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Pause to reflect on Juneteenth

Dear Members of the Loyola Community,

Today, as we mark Juneteenth, we reflect on the end to slavery—and the stain that slavery has left on our nation’s history. As a country, we still have much work to do to combat racism and advance the work of justice. We also have a great deal of work to do to address racism at Loyola. We look forward to leaning on our Jesuit values and taking steps forward on that journey.

At this moment, within our community, we are reflecting on our past as a university, considering how we have failed to live up to the Jesuit ideals at the heart of Loyola, and planning intentionally for a better, more just future.

Wanting to let our Loyola and Baltimore communities know our intentions to move toward constructive change, we are installing banners today on the USF&G Pedestrian Bridge and at the Govanstowne Farmers Market. Some say, “Black lives matter.” Others share a quote from Pope Paul VI, “If you want peace, work for justice.” I hope that the banners affirm the University’s commitment to racial justice. These are powerful words, but we also have to step up and take new and additional actions.

Each of us needs to determine what working for justice looks like in our lives. Today is a perfect day to consider what your role might be in this conversation.

I invite you to visit these racial justice resources that Campus Ministry has compiled. Please also mark your calendar for the office on equity and inclusion’s upcoming webinar series on recognizing and practicing antiracism, “Voices on Equity: A Lunchtime Series with Loyola.” Karsonya Whitehead, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and African and African American studies at Loyola, and Helina Haile, M.A., Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, will co-present the first one, “Walking Through the Moment: Lessons Learned and Ways to Recognize and Practice Antiracist Behavior,” on June 24 from Noon – 12:30 p.m.

I invite you, particularly my white colleagues, to find time today to read, reflect, and pray about where we are as a nation—and commit ourselves to action and service for and with others. Today the Catholic Church also celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. That portrayal of the burning love Jesus has for humanity can inspire and challenge those of us who are white to consider fully the painful injustices that are inflicted on people of color and urge us to be more deeply compassionate and more fully in solidarity with all people of color.


Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.