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An Antiracist Campus Community

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March 19, 2021

Dear Members of the Villanova Community,

Since the summer of 2020, the Aequitas Task Force has been diligently working to create a Villanova community marked by a sense of openness, fairness and justice for all. In the process, we have come to see our work through the lens of antiracism and have adopted the aspirational goal of becoming an antiracist campus. The work of antiracism is not solely about race. The Task Force adopted an orientation that focuses on policies, practices and structures that create or sustain inequity of any minoritized people. Race becomes an entry point of focus; we know people are not just a single identity. The aspiration of becoming an antiracist campus means that we commit ourselves to work for justice and equity for everyone.

Recent headlines are replete with examples of hatred and violence aimed at the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. These acts of malice and cruelty are reported regularly but none so heinous as the murder of eight people in Georgia. We write today not just to mourn the deaths of the eight victims – six of whom have been identified as Asian American women – or to decry the acts of hostility often aimed at the most vulnerable in the Asian communities, but to say at Villanova we hold tenderly all members of the American Asian Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in our hearts and offer ourselves in kinship and support. It is in times like these, we need to hear the cries of all communities in pain and respond with meaningful care and empathy.

There is another community today feeling hurt and invalidated. A recent Vatican statement has left members of the LGBTQAI+ community and their allies at Villanova wondering whether their place on campus is safe and secure. Without equivocation, Villanova affirms that all people are welcomed on our campus, especially those who suffer from exclusion. We believe deeply in the humanity and intrinsic worth of the LGBTQAI+ community.

As we navigate these difficult times, the Office of the President and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) share a responsibility to monitor the stability and health of our campus community. We are here for all Villanovans and are obligated to raise issues impacting the life and happiness of community members who feel unseen or unheard or unsafe. Understanding those around us will help us do everything we do here at Villanova better.

If you have concerns about your experiences on campus, please reach out to the resources available through ODEI, the Office of Intercultural Affairs, the Center for Access, Success and Achievement, or any of the diversity offices located in the schools and colleges. We are here to listen. You are not alone.

Remember, the difficulties of today unless challenged will become the reality of tomorrow. We will become an antiracist campus when we make issues of injustice our own.  


Sincerely, 

Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA

Terry Nance, PhD

President

Vice President of ODEI and Chief Diversity Officer