"It is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society."
— Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "The Other America" March 14, 1968
As we begin another week marked by shocking unrest in scores of American cities and towns, we as a University and as a nation are fighting two deadly afflictions — the diseases of COVID-19 and endemic racism.
Universities were among the first to respond to the threat of COVID-19, long before any national guidance or executive orders. So, too, must higher education help lead society to overcome racism and violence. So let me reiterate and advance the University's statement of Saturday afternoon: Seton Hall condemns in no uncertain terms the sin of racism and the acts of degradation it engenders against members of our human family and particularly our black community.
We began the 2019-20 academic year at Convocation by unequivocally voicing Seton Hall’s University-wide commitment to diversity and inclusion, and to providing a safe and welcoming environment for every member of our community. We have taken many actions, and will take many more.
We condemn racism and violence. We must remain steadfast in fulfilling Seton Hall’s commitment, as we work to uphold our Catholic devotion to peace, justice and the dignity of all human life. Advancing human rights and uplifting all members of our society must be a national imperative, the responsibility for which falls to every American. In the words of the Holy Father, Pope Francis:
"The effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples."
As a University community, we must come together in support and mutual affection. I encourage all Setonians who are struggling emotionally with the coronavirus pandemic and this national unrest to make use of our counseling services. Students can avail themselves of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) while employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Campus Ministry provides invaluable spiritual and other support.
Our Student Government Association is working with Campus Ministry and the Division of Student Services to help advance our voice across higher education, New Jersey and at Seton Hall. More information on our collective efforts will be forthcoming.
Please join me in praying for our brothers and sisters who find themselves caught in the depths of fear, frustration and grief, and for our entire nation, throughout these difficult days.
Categories: Nation and World