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Statement on Racial and Social Injustice

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With sadness, frustration and outrage, we write in the aftermath of last week’s killing of George Floyd. There is much pain in our country now from another killing of an African American man by police, and incredible pain is being felt by many members of our Mount community. This incident should concern and affect every one of us. We all are accountable for looking out for all of our brothers and sisters.

This nation has experienced centuries of racism, injustice and violence against African Americans as well as Latinos and Asians. Recent events may have made some of us more conscious of the extent to which racism still burdens our community and our country. African Americans have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, primarily due to inequities in our health care system and the loss of jobs by many in urban America, and Asian Americans have been the target of prejudice during the pandemic. We pray Mr. Floyd’s death, which millions have seen on video, is a catalyst for all to stand united against racism and oppression and for the ideal of equality to be realized at last. We must raise our voices on social justice issues, and we must do better as a nation.

At Mount St. Mary’s University, we affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person and strive to maintain an atmosphere of justice based on respect for each other. We understand the impact these acts of social injustice have on marginalized communities and their allies. Those who have been impacted by recent events are encouraged to contact Student Life, the Center for Campus Ministry or Counseling Services. In addition, administrators, coaches and faculty would be happy to speak with you. We also invite you to contact Vice President for Equity and Success Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, Ph.D., or Director of the Center for Student Diversity Leon Dixon to share ideas on how to make the Mount better.

As we seek ongoing improvement at the Mount, and the reduction and elimination of biased attitudes and prejudices, we are planning monthly “Learn, Reflect, Act” sessions.  These discussion opportunities will provide a better understanding of hidden and neglected disparities related to criminal justice, education, healthcare, employment and other areas. Faculty with expertise in these areas will guide the discussions.

In a call for peace, the Rev. Martin Moran, university chaplain and director of the Center for Campus Ministry, will officiate at a prayer service at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3 at Peace Plaza. We encourage you to participate in this service through Facebook Live or by praying the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi wherever you may be. We hope this brief service brings you some comfort and strengthens your faith in God.  

In recent years, as the Mount has become more diverse and inclusive and politics in the nation have become more divisive, the Mount has had several racial incidents. We have worked hard to foster an inclusive community with zero tolerance for discrimination, and we will not be satisfied until  there is no injustice.

Even though we have been separated physically since March, please know that the Mount is still here for you at this tumultuous time. We are ready to engage our new freshmen class during August orientation with enhanced and meaningful dialogue on being an inclusive and caring community. This work is ongoing, and we are committed to doing better. We stand with you and are committed to continuing to improve.

In celebrating Pentecost Sunday, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, S’77, strongly stated that “we cannot espouse our faith, we cannot live our faith without addressing forthrightly the lingering pandemic of racism that is in our society and without defending the rights of the many people who have been harmed as Mr. Floyd has been harmed.” We hope our country, particularly those hard of heart, will be filled with the joy and love of the Holy Spirit that welcomes all to the table of the Lord in peace.


Timothy E. Trainor, Ph.D.                  Mary Kane
President                                           Chair, Board of Trustees
Msgr. Andrew Baker                                                              Pauline Engelstatter
VP and Seminary Rector                                                       VP for University Affairs

Robert Brennan                                                                      Dr. Bernard Franklin
VP for University Advancement                                              VP for Student Life

Jack Chielli                                                                             Rev. Martin Moran
VP for Enrollment Management & Marketing                         Director of Campus Ministry

Dr. Boyd Creasman                                                                Lynne Robinson
Provost                                                                                   Director of Athletics

William Davies                                                                       Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau
VP for Business & Finance                                                    VP for Equity & Success