Dear Marian Community:
The events over the last two weeks in our country and the city of Omaha have raised the awareness of racism to a new level.
While we have taken steps to address these issues over the last few years, recent conversations have made it clear that we have much work to do.
We recently engaged to listen to student leaders who have been involved in diversity initiatives over the last 18 months. Our purpose was to hear from our Black students regarding their experiences and their concerns about racial disparities at Marian. They spoke passionately and clearly about their feelings and frustrations. This was tough feedback, but their witness and their commitment to help Marian do better was inspiring. These are difficult and sensitive topics. But through honesty and discomfort we can realize real growth and, thus, change. These discussions will expand and continue.
We will work toward the elimination of racism in the hallways of Marian. It will be hard work. I pledge this will be a top priority for the upcoming school year. All of us….administrators, faculty, staff and students must open ourselves to conversation, reflection, understanding and, most importantly, to action. As I said to our faculty and staff in a recent email “we MUST listen, lean in and make forward progress.”
Joan Chittister, a Benedictine sister, wrote in her June 3 column “From Where I Stand” in the National Catholic Reporter: “We can kill the virus of racism if we begin to practice social outreach across racial lines. By doing nothing but talking about it, we are the carriers of the disease of racism.”
Change and action are within our control. We WILL do better!