Enacting a vision of social hope

January 18, 2021

To the University community and friends of La Salle,

This day is set aside for the nation to commemorate and be challenged by the living legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Usually, La Salle University hosts a dynamic interfaith prayer service on campus, bringing together people from different cultural and religious backgrounds from our collegiate community, from Belfield and other nearby neighborhoods, and across Philadelphia. Like Saint John Baptist de La Salle, King was a product of a tradition that regarded Scripture as a central lens through which to interpret reality.

Experiencing the turbulences of today across our educational and civic life requires us to work toward recommitting ourselves to sustaining a culture at La Salle that keeps our mission and core values vital and vibrant.

Stepping into justice and love like de La Salle and King, La Salle University is taking up the task to examine critically its culture and institutional infrastructure. The goal is to foster an equitable, diverse, and inclusive learning environment reflective of our distinctive Lasallian Catholic heritage, values, and commitment.

To achieve this goal, to make something new possible, the University wants to invest continually in two important areas to further its mission and core values:

  1. Programs that enhance staff and faculty engagement with the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Lasallian educational heritage.
  2. Implementing recommendations from the Joint Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, established by the University in September and co-sponsored by the Office of the President and the University’s Faculty Senate.

I share theologian Susan Toton’s view that we must “dare to draw closer to where justice is being created, in order that we may learn to recognize justice and participate in its creation.”

The struggle to enact this vision of social hope requires prudent discernment, frank discussion, and faith-filled action. In this spirit, I ask that you consider making a gift to the University to support the ongoing and critically important work of the Joint Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. A gesture of any kind will aid the development of relevant programming and the delivery of applicable recommendations to the University toward an equitable and inclusive campus community that most closely reflects the world in which we live.

La Salle’s mission and heritage gives light to our institutional and individual power to keep bending the long arc of the moral universe toward a better world in which we all can flourish.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, pray for us.

May we live with faith and zeal, forever!

Brother Ernest J. Miller, FSC, D.Min., M.A. ’95
Vice President of Mission, Diversity, and Inclusion