The faculty and staff of the Ethics Program in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Villanova University joins the chorus of voices raised in horror and protest not only at the inhumane murders of Ms. Breonna Taylor and Mr. George Floyd but also at the long American history of disproportionate violence and killing inflicted on vulnerable communities, particularly people of color, by those entrusted with preserving public order and enforcing the law. The history of our country cannot be told without sustained and serious reflection on the white supremacy and structural racism that permeate our society. Black lives matter. Black lives matter because we are brothers and sisters. Black lives matter because we are members of the same family created in the image of God. Black lives matter because of our inherent human dignity. Black lives matter. It is a profound stain on our country that such words must be raised in protest and on bended knee in response to yet another murder of an African American person at the hands of police officers.
We recognize that we are complicit in systems that have privileged some at the expense of others and that complicity can exist side by side with a desire for justice for all victims of racism. While the Ethics Program has striven to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our teaching and hiring, we realize that there is more work to be done in our anti-racist efforts and much to learn.
To this end, we commit to
· engage in personal and communal reflection and education on white supremacy, individual racism, and systemic racism;
· designate a Catherine of Siena Fellowship for a teacher-scholar whose work focuses on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and
· collaborate with others on campus to create and expand spaces where we can engage in sustained and serious reflection on how white supremacy and racism affect Villanova University and the broader society.
We must do this work at Villanova. In the spirit of St. Augustine, we are reminded that “justice is the cornerstone of civil society. Upon it depend the unity and nobility of any human society.” Racism is a threat to the common good and diminishes the flourishing of us all. Keeping in mind Villanova’s three core values of Veritas, Unitas, and Caritas, we commit to pursuing justice with love for all.
Allison Covey Kristyn Sessions
Mark Doorley Willa Swenson-Lengyel
Peggy Elder Brett Wilmot
Audra Goodnight Mark Wilson