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La Salle News

September 9, 2020

Beginning the work of the Joint Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

To the La Salle community:

We are living in a historic moment.

Our society is in the depths of anguish and despair, what Martin Luther King, Jr. called, “the disjointed elements of reality.” The wave of public outrage in reaction to George Floyd’s murder and the deaths of other Black people and people of color, launched protests of a scope and scale unseen in decades around the United States, and indeed, the world. These protests arrive at a moment when many people are hungry to end the moral pandemic of systemic, interlocking injustices. These protests arrive at a moment when many people aspire to heal the nation and expand the quest for human freedom, human dignity, and democracy.

In accordance with our La Salle mission, the Joint Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion—co-sponsored by the University President and Faculty Senate—is set to begin its collaborative work. The task is to examine critically La Salle’s culture and institutional infrastructure and make recommendations to enhance it to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment reflective of our distinctive Lasallian Catholic heritage, values, and commitment. Experiencing the turbulences of today requires us all to work toward recommitting ourselves to sustaining a culture at La Salle in which every person who lives, educates, studies, and works on our campus is embraced by mutual respect, hospitality and fraternity in which none are “strangers and sojourners no longer…” (Letter of Paul to the Ephesians, 2:19).

The Commission consists of persons representing the range of constituent groups in the La Salle community—staff, faculty, students, alumni, and a University Trustee. View the Commission website to learn more and the members, the joint Commission’s Charge, and review other resources.

In the spirit of together and by association, the Lasallian principle that calls us to remain united for the mission of Lasallian education, the Charge to the Commission aligns with and advances the vision of the Declaration on the Lasallian Educational Mission (2020): “to generate opportunities that promote the transformation of lives, persons, and societies. [The Lasallian] educational perspective aims to build societies where peace, equity, social justice, civic participation, the raising up of common dreams, and respect for freedom and differences are possible.”

Drawing on the immense fecundity of the Lasallian educational heritage, the struggle to enact the Lasallian vision and social hopes require prudent discernment, frank discussion, and faith-filled action—all of which are essential to building a better world in which all can flourish.

Sincerely, in Saint De La Salle,

The Co-Chairs, Joint Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Shakeya Currie Foreman, J.D.
Employee and Labor Relations Specialist
Office of Human Resources

Luisa Ossa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish
Area Coordinator, Spanish
Department of Global Languages, Literatures, and Perspectives

Ernest J. Miller, FSC, D. Min.
Vice President of Mission, Diversity and Inclusion