Dear Loyola Alumni,
As our nation engages in conversation about the need for action to combat racism, members of our university community—including our alumni—are also engaged in discussions and calling for action on this issue.
Systemic racism has traumatized our society for generations and has regrettably been part of Loyola’s history, as well. Members of our own Loyola community have suffered—and still suffer—from acts of bias and exclusion and hatred, and some of you have shared those experiences with us and other leaders at Loyola. We are striving to do better as we work together to create a more inclusive, equitable Loyola. As a Jesuit, Catholic university, we can and will never be at peace as long as there is injustice in our world—and within our own Loyola community.
While recognizing the issues of the past, we are also working to shape a more just future for Loyola. Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., our first chief equity and inclusion officer and a graduate with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Loyola, is guiding the President’s Council on Equity and Inclusion in leading the development of Loyola’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan. The three-year plan will lead to equity audits across the institution and have measurable outcomes. We invite you to read more about the plan and find anti-racism resources at Loyola.edu/equity.
We have much work to do as a university. Through our mission and the faith tradition of our institution, we have a call to hear the voices of the unrepresented. We recognize that creating and maintaining impactful change will be an ongoing process and one that we cannot solve or resolve in a single letter. We invite you to participate in this essential conversation as we move toward necessary change for the future of Loyola.
Here are a few ways you can stay informed and join in the conversation we are having at Loyola:
- Father Brown’s Loyola Alumni Reading Group discussion of How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi on June 30
- “Voices in Equity: A Lunchtime Series with Loyola”
- Evergreen Conversations: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on July 9
- We are working to create a diversity, equity, and inclusion alumni advisory board. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more.
- We also invite you to check the office of equity and inclusion’s site for updates and more information.
As a community, we are committed to being contemplatives in action. 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.”
Loyola is a community that is intended for greatness—and you have the opportunity to help your university continue to improve in the areas of equity and inclusion. As our alumni share their perspectives and insights into how Loyola can improve, it’s clear that the way Greyhound Nation approaches these issues is to speak truth to power and to walk with one another to create lasting change. We invite each of you to lean into our Jesuit tradition and lend your voice to our work against racism and for justice.
Today we invite you to join us in word, action, and prayer, including this prayer from the Bishops' Committee on Black Catholics of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Wake Me Up, Lord
Wake me up, Lord, so that the evil of racism
finds no home within me.
Keep watch over my heart, Lord,
and remove from me any barriers to your grace,
that may oppress and offend my brothers and sisters.
Fill my spirit, Lord, so that I may give
services of justice and peace.
Clear my mind, Lord, and use it for your glory.
And finally, remind us, Lord, that you said,
"blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God."
Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., President
Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., NCC, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer