We Must Do Better: Follow-up on Our Shared Commitments

Dear members of the Bellarmine Community, 

On Monday, President Donovan highlighted Bellarmine University’s shared commitments and Catholic values in response to some of the most recent unjust killings of Black people in the United States—killings that have plagued our nation’s history. She challenged us as a community by reminding us, “We can—we must—do better.” We must do better to become a more inclusive and equitable campus and community partner by fighting against racism and all forms of systematic oppression that often overlap. 

For example, many of our bright, talented students have peacefully and safely protested the killings of Breonna Taylor, 26, in Louisville, Kentucky, George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Ahmaud Arbery, 25, in Brunswick, Georgia. Our students serve as examples of doing better, even amid a global pandemic. 

As another example, Joe Frazier, director of the Dr. Patricia Carver Office of Identity and Inclusion, and Emily Dixon, assistant director of the Dr. Patricia Carver Office of Identity and Inclusion, represented Bellarmine University as they and a student dropped off supplies for peaceful protestors. They serve as an example of doing better and going above and beyond for Bellarmine and the Louisville community. 

As we continue to strive to do better, here are some campus events that are happening this week. We will continue to provide updates on campus events and programs centering racial justice as they become available: 

Student Government Association (SGA) Donation Drive for Black Lives Matter

  • SGA is collecting the following items to support protestors through Black Lives Matter: water bottles, disposable gloves, face masks, bandannas, baking soda, spray bottles, goggles and powdered milk. Please drop off donations outside Centro in the donation boxes nearest to Einstein’s and Hilary’s. The boxes are available from 8 a.m. until nightfall. 
  • Tuesday, June 2 - Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Faculty & Staff Community Conversation 

  • Join us to discuss and process the recent shootings and acts of brutality in Georgia, Kentucky and Minnesota, as well as the aftermath. 
  • Thursday, June 4 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Teams Link: https://bit.ly/2XVkTjR

Prayer Vigil for Racial Unity and Justice

As we continue to strive to do better, here is a reading by Brian Massingale published in the National Catholic Reporter that might be helpful in understanding race and racism in the United States: https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/assumptions-white-privilege-and-what-we-can-do-about-it. Additionally, please make it a practice to visit the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion website for additional resources and readings to educate and inform. The site will be updated regularly with new content for engagement. 

As we continue to strive to do better, we will update the campus on ways they might be able to give back to the Louisville community.   

Finally, as we continue to strive to do better, we must take care of ourselves and each other and remind you of the following University resources: 

In Solidarity, 

DJ Mitchell, Ph.D.
Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer
Professor of Education 

Helen-Grace Ryan, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

Trey Grevious
President of the Student Government Association

Joe Frazier
Director of the Dr. Patricia Carver Office of Identity & Inclusion 

Emily Dixon
Assistant Director of the Dr. Patricia Carver Office of Identity & Inclusion

Laura Kline
Director of Campus Ministry 

Patrick Englert, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Co-chair, President's Advisory Board on Equity & Inclusion