DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Message of solidarity from DePaul University Officers
By DePaul University Officers /
June 9, 2020 /
Posted in: CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY /
We write today with one voice, as an institution inspired by Vincent de Paul, that is committed to racial equality and justice and upholding the dignity of all people. As a community, we are mourning; we are bone-weary, and yes, angry at the senseless killings of African Americans across this nation and in our own City of Chicago. We applaud and support the demonstrators who are marching to end the violence and working toward structural reform. We are horrified at the images of these same protestors being met with tear gas, rubber bullets and hostility, and we denounce those who disrupt peaceful demonstrations with unlawful actions.
Racism is woven into the fabric of this country. It is the legacy of slavery, colonization, and the taking by force of lands and peoples to create power and privilege for some while marginalizing many. Despite the efforts of many, the principle objectives of the past decades to combat racism and racial discrimination have not been attained and to the present day, countless human beings continue to be victims of racism, racial discrimination and related intolerance.
The current uprising of people is the cumulative effect of this oppression. COVID-19 struck black and brown communities hard, and essential workers were the most vulnerable amongst us. The pandemic made clear that these inequities are part of the United States ethos, structurally reinforced in our political, health care, judicial, economic and educational systems.
DePaul, as an institution, is part of these systems. We know that statements are not enough. Words must be followed by action. We cannot look at the world and say it needs to change, and not seek to transform systems of racial inequality within our own institution. We heard this message loud and clear, and take this moment to look to the future and what must be done to make DePaul a more just and equitable university that lives out its mission in deed, as well as word.
Fully aware that the scourge of racism and racial discrimination persists and continues to result in violations of human rights, suffering, disadvantage, violence and death, we want to commit – as an institution – to combat racism by all available and appropriate means, and as a matter of the highest priority, preferably in continuous cooperation with affected communities.
As a collective administrative body, we have come together to outline our commitments to end racism on our campus.
We will do all of this in love, and with our Vincentian values to guide us, respecting the God-given dignity of every person.
We ask our community to join us in a blackout on June 9, 2020, at 8:19 p.m. to 8:27 pm. We ask that wherever you may be, please shut down and go dark for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in remembrance of George Floyd's death and in solidarity with all who have stepped forward to stand against racism.
We sign this as a collective to demonstrate this commitment. We ask every member of our community to join us in this struggle to transform our university, to end hatred and racism, and to work together on reform. This is our promise and our mandate.
May God bless you during these troubling times and keep you safe.
A. Gabriel Esteban, PhD, President
Salma Ghanem, PhD, Interim Provost
Jeffrey J. Bethke, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Daniel Allen, PhD, Vice President, Advancement
Erin Archer, Treasurer
Erin Berkowitz, President, Staff Council
Linda Blakley, Vice President, University Marketing and Communications
Ronald Caltabiano, DMA, Dean, School of Music
Rev. Guillermo (Memo) Campuzano, CM, Vice President, Mission and Ministry
Gisselle Cervantes, President, Student Government Association
Peter Coffey, Associate Vice President, Community and Government Relations
John Culbert, MFA, Dean, The Theatre School
Thomas Donley, Associate Dean, Driehaus College of Business
Soumitra Ghosh, Vice President, Enrollment Management
Robert Janis, Vice President, Facility Operations
Misty Johanson, PhD, Dean, Driehaus College of Business and Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
Dorothy Kozlowski, PhD, Interim Dean, College of Science and Health
Jean Lenti-Ponsetto, Athletic Director
Bob McCormick, Vice President, Information Services
David Miller, PhD, Dean, College of Computing and Digital Media
Alexandra Murphy, PhD, Acting Dean, College of Communication
Donald Opitz, PhD, Interim Dean, School of Continuing and Professional Studies
Elizabeth F. Ortiz, EdD, Vice President, Institutional Diversity and Equity
José D. Padilla, JD, Secretary, Vice President and General Counsel
Scott Paeth, PhD, President, Faculty Council
Jennifer Rosato Perea, JD, Dean, College of Law
Sherri Sidler, Controller
Stephanie Smith, Vice President, Human Resources
Steve Stoute, JD, Chief of Staff
Guillermo Vásquez de Velasco, PhD, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Gene Zdziarski, PhD, Vice President, Student Affairs
Paul Zionts, PhD, Dean, College of Education