DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > The nation's grief and our response

From the President: The nation's grief... and our response

St. Vincent statue
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)

The tragedy of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis is heartbreaking, yet all too familiar. From Trayvon Martin to Eric Garner to Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, as well as earlier this week in Central Park, we have seen too many deaths and incidents of harassment perpetrated against the African American community. Racism and its deadly consequences are rooted in United States history. Slavery and its legacy live on, and these incidents make all too real the impact of this history.

In the past few weeks, we have witnessed the jarring violence of racism in images in the news and social media. Even in such unsettling times, these events are still occurring and prove that our country is still not immune to racism and the hatred it brings. These events cause grief, sadness, anger and frustration at our inability to conquer racism and protect our loved ones and our communities.

In our grief, let us pledge to work for change, to seek reform and to hold each other accountable for taking a stand against injustice. Let us work to become instruments of peace. As Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." In these times of darkness, let us protect and care for one another. The DePaul University community will stand together in solidarity against racism and hate.

At DePaul we are not indifferent when we see that the dignity of entire communities is not respected; whether it be through violent conflict, subtle discrimination, overt negligence of rights, or words and actions of hatred. These facts continue to generate anxiety and suffering, driving communities apart and putting peace, development and democracy under mounting pressure. We are DePaul, a united diverse community. Following the inspiration of St. Vincent de Paul, we promote, respect and protect the dignity of all.

For those who are struggling with recent events, I want to remind community members that University Counseling Services and the Religious Diversity and Pastoral Care offices are sources of support for those who seek assistance in these stressful times.