Resources on our shared journey toward equity and justice
April 23, 2021
To the University community:
The verdict earlier this week in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin marks a pivotal moment in our nation’s ongoing reckoning with racism. George Floyd’s murder follows a centuries-long series of senseless killings of Black people in this country; and while the verdict cannot bring back Mr. Floyd, his murderer was held accountable by our justice system.
This verdict by no means ends the need for the hard work of moving toward a world where all people are treated with respect, and where Black people and others who face systemic oppression no longer must fear for their lives as they go about their days. From March 29, when testimony began in the George Floyd trial, to the April 20 verdict, at least 65 people nationwide have died at the hands of law enforcement, with Black and Brown people representing more than half of the dead. In a recent span of four days, our nation has experienced more than nine mass shootings. “How can you say that’s not a public health issue?” Dr. Anthony Fauci said to reporters.
We know that many deeply personal and pressing societal concerns remain. No single verdict represents the end of a journey that must continue. Let us step outside of the paradigm of the trial and contend with the reality in our nation and in our world, that anti-Blackness and devaluation of Black and Brown people will not end without our perpetual collective insistence. The larger questions we face are crucial and inescapable for all who want a better world.
In the days and weeks ahead, each of us will face renewed internal challenges as we must determine how our individual values and La Salle University’s values compel us take up the work of enacting an anti-racist society, beginning with where we are. The struggle for justice and the struggle for peace in our world are inseparable. It is up this undivided road that out La Salle community must travel and toil. Together, we must remain committed for the long-haul. It is our hope that everyone in our community asks themselves, “What can I do to bring true and comprehensive justice to the land?”
Resources for support
We urge students and employees who need support to please reach out. The Student Counseling Center is available during regular business hours, and an after-hours telecounseling service is accessible on weeknights and weekends, by calling 215-951-1355. The Employee Assistance Program, available through The Standard, provides stress- and anxiety-management support by calling 888-293-6948. Also, you can contact University Ministry, Service and Support (email@example.com) or the University’s Multicultural and International Center (215-951-1948) for additional resources.
The Easter season invites us to reflect on and engage with human suffering. As Lasallians, we are called to offer true compassion and enable people to have life and live it in abundance.
Ernest J. Miller, FSC, D. Min., M.A. ’95
Vice President of Mission, Diversity and Inclusion
Kristin Heasley, M.S.
Interim Vice President of Student Development & Campus Life and Human Resources