Commencement > Ceremonies & Events > Message of Support from Dr. Esteban

Message of Support from Dr. Esteban

Message of Support from Dr. Esteban
To Be Recorded: Friday, June 5, 2020 – 10:30 a.m.
Via Zoom


---LOWER THIRD: A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., President, DePaul University---

Hello. I am Gabriel Esteban.

As we approach the culmination of the Class of 2020’s academic journey at DePaul, we must take time to recognize the current reality in which we live.

Observing what is all around us is a hallmark of viewing the world through a Vincentian lens.

St. Vincent de Paul's writings reveal that he always linked charity, and any human action, to justice.

He urges us to, “Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances.”

Over the last few weeks, in contrast to St. Vincent de Paul’s words, we’ve seen one horrific example after another of African American lives lost at the hands of systemic racism.

Ahmaud Arbery – killed while jogging in broad daylight in Brunswick, Georgia.

Breonna Taylor – killed while she slept in her bed near Louisville, Kentucky.

And most recently, George Floyd – killed as he was pinned to the ground pleading for his life in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The violent death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests for justice around the country, and around our city, cannot go unaddressed.

The pain of this injustice was deepened by the reckless behavior of those who would commandeer such a moment, to cause destruction and further divide an already fractured nation.

We mourn the loss of Black lives that were tragically lost because of racism, bias and prejudice.

St. Vincent de Paul lived each day building capacity for change. Throughout his life, he worked to bring people together for systemic change.

That is what DePaul University is calling you to do.

At this time, more than ever, we need courageous women and men.

We need women and men who, like St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, understand our work must include taking the side of people at the margins.

Graduates of the Class of 2020, as you march forward in your life’s journey, I implore you to use your voice to create significant change in the world.

To enlighten those whose hearts and minds are darkened by ignorance and prejudice.

To make a difference so all men, women and children are treated, supported and loved equally.

And to make this a better world for this generation, and for those to come. May we all work together to continue the mission and vision of St. Vincent de Paul.

To challenge unjust systems and structural discrimination.

To always respect human life, in every situation within our diverse society.

And, to take care of each other. Take care of ourselves. And, Take Care DePaul.