Dear Members of the Bellarmine Community,
Our hearts ache from the shootings of the two African Americans in the Jeffersontown Kroger grocery store and the eleven Jewish members of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh as they were going about their daily lives buying groceries and gathering in prayer for more peaceful times. We cannot accept acts of violence or incidents of hatred based on race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other identity.
We condemn the acts of hatred and we must each individually commit to making peaceful progress in this divided world. Bellarmine University is a community of compassion but we too can do our part to improve the lives of all members of our community, to work to understand and rise above our own prejudices, and to embrace the inherent dignity of each individual person.
As president, I am calling upon you to participate in education and training toward a community of equity and inclusion. I am announcing the creation of a President’s Advisory Board on Equity and Inclusion. This body will review all policies and practices related to hiring, orientation, bias reporting, promotion, and training for students, faculty and staff members. This body will review annual reports and make recommendations for improving the climate for work and study for the Bellarmine community.
The first task of this body will be to recommend a process of training for all faculty, staff and students around concepts of equity and inclusion. This professional development will ensure that our Bellarmine core values are lived out in our daily lives as we work, live and learn together in a community. Through our mission, we are called to improve the human condition and to impact the world in our words and our actions. I look forward to what we can accomplish together and I ask you to join me in this critical time in our institutional history and in our world today.
I am asking that each of us commit to opening our hearts and our minds to the other, to truly listen, to learn and to understand each other. We will be constituting the Advisory Board on Equity and Inclusion in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I invite nominations and volunteers interested in working on this important topic.
Please send your nominations of others or yourself to the Office of the President. I look forward to working with you on a stronger, more inclusive community for all of our members.
Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D.
Bellarmine University President