Saint Mary's Stands in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Dear Saint Mary’s Community, 

Our calling as faculty, staff, and students working and studying at a Lasallian Catholic institution is to rise up and come to terms with the racial inequities and social injustices that are being experienced by members of the Black community. We can no longer simply listen to the battle cries of our students and colleagues. We are compelled by our mission and Lasallian values, as well as our humanity, to fight together for social justice and respect for all people, and to build from our faith and our hearts an inclusive community that stands united, even during these most challenging of times. 

Saint Mary’s is a microcosm of the systemic racism and microaggressions that continue to transcend generations. I see the pain of our Saint Mary’s community. Our Black students, faculty, and staff are shouldering the unbearable burden of atrocities that are happening to Black people across the nation, which are further amplified in our own backyard. Inaction must be replaced by action. Benign complacency must be replaced with a dedicated resolve to “do the work” on a daily basis. 

At Saint Mary’s College we stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and starting immediately, I will initiate meetings with the Cabinet, campus leadership, faculty, students, and staff to develop actionable steps based on the demands brought forward by the Black Student Union, Ethnic Studies Faculty, and Black Lives Matter. We will thoughtfully review and reflect on the demands, what we are doing, how well we are doing, and what we need to do to improve. And, in consultation with the community, we will identify significant and impactful actions toward change. The resulting action plan will serve as a living document to guide us as our community returns to campus in the fall, and we will ensure that this important work will continue to be a top priority. It will take ALL of us working together, without pause, to bring about change. 

I am committed to ensuring that Saint Mary’s is a place where people feel safe and secure. And as a community, we must listen with an open heart and respond with love and respect. I must also call on us to refrain from engaging in hateful rhetoric and discourse in any modality—electronic mail or in person. Nothing positive comes from hatred; we’re witnessing that lesson in the most visible and profound ways. Black Lives Matter has opened our eyes. Our students, faculty, and staff have opened our eyes. And the social injustice and evils cast upon Black people have opened our eyes. 

We see you. We’re in the fight with you. And we’re ready for action! 

In the Spirit of Saint La Salle,

James A. Donahue