Dear Members of the Fontbonne University Community,
At Fontbonne University, we value all persons as created by God with dignity, diversity, and inherent worth. We value all of humanity and all of those marginalized by acts of racism and discrimination. Everyone is our Dear Neighbor, a moniker often used by our sponsors, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet. The mission of Fontbonne University is to be “committed to the common good through the daily pursuit of transformative education, inspiring students to become global citizens who think critically, act ethically and serve responsibly.” In the light of our mission and values, we must decry the actions of the police officers who ended the life of George Floyd during his arrest. Such incidents have happened far too often to the Black community, and we cannot let such an injustice go without a response.
Actions against others because of their race must stop, and we, unlike the officers in the arrest of Mr. Floyd, cannot stand idly by without voicing our outrage at the behavior of those who are sworn to protect us. We urge elected officials and the entire community to boldly address ways in which people are demeaned or denied their human dignity and rights. We implore our criminal justice system and law enforcement agencies to pursue accountability and alternatives to the use of deadly force. We support police training that demonstrates respect for every individual. Let us act in ways that demonstrate that Black lives, indeed all lives, matter.
Let us pray together that the Holy Spirit can work in us and through our civic leaders to address the injustice we see in today’s world. Let us support peaceful protests of such injustice and work toward a better tomorrow. Stay strong and know that our prayers are with you.
Sr. Barbara Jennings, CSJ