A Message from President Peggy Slater
Diversity, Equity, & Justice
Dear Ursuline Community,
As a young woman graduates from Ursuline Academy, one of many characteristics we hope to have nurtured is that she recognizes “her call to be a peacemaker.” As a country and community, we are all being called to higher understanding and a greater effort at peacemaking. This is not easy because it requires standing against racism and working to create justice.
We have a shared sense of urgency to respond to recent incidents of racism and injustice but this is not a time for hollow words. It is a time to reset and it is a time for action.
It is tempting to focus on the injustices of recent weeks, however, we cannot dismiss, that this moment in history reflects decades of inequity in education, home ownership, employment, opportunity and trust.
As a school and community, do we condemn acts of racism, brutality, and crimes against human dignity? Absolutely. Is that enough? Absolutely not. We must educate ourselves, create safe spaces for the difficult discussions and respond quickly and effectively when the dignity of one or many is disregarded. We understand that these issues are systemic and must be addressed as such.
Ursuline Academy is a diverse community in many ways but largely lacks the perspective of persons of color. We need and want this to change. We are also a learning community rooted in faith, prayer and service. We recognize the inherent value in every human being as a creation of God. What does it look like for us to live these values as well as hold them dear?
It is incumbent upon us to see, hear, be and act differently. It will not be comfortable or easy. To begin:
- I will host virtual conversations on the topic of change within our community to build awareness of the inequities and ways to make people of color feel valued and welcome. If you are interested in participating, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will communicate with you directly about dates and times.
- Our Principal, Mark Michalski, will identify ways, within the constraints of COVID19 guidelines, to conduct awareness and skill-building sessions among our coworkers and students at the start of the fall semester.
- We offer our facilities to host educational, community-building panels and discussions.
- We will invite the entire Ursuline community to participate in a service project addressing the inequities present in our community, in partnership with an organization well versed in the needs.
Centuries ago, our foundress, St. Angela Merici said that “mutual love and harmony between you are a sure sign that you are on the right path and pleasing to God.” We have a long way to go. I hope you will join me on the path.
Prayerfully and gratefully,
OF THE ROMAN UNION URSULINES OF THE UNITED STATES
May 30, 2020
Fatal Arrest of George Floyd:
The video of the police brutality against George Floyd brings to focus again the reality that as a nation we have the urgent task of seeking justice and equality for the people of color in America.
As Ursuline Sisters of the Roman Union of the United States, we urge lawmakers to address systemic, race-based injustice. We add our voices to all who plead for societal changes in every facet of our life where racial inequality is condoned. It is time to address this issue with purpose.
“No one can say anymore, ‘This does not concern me.’
Imitate Christ by becoming neighbor to every man, and woman.”
– Pope Francis to Ursulines