Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,
As executive director of the Alumni Association, I take seriously my responsibility to unite the Notre Dame alumni family in a moment like this. While we had not planned a digest this week, I cannot stay silent. We in the Association are fully committed to diversity and inclusion in our clubs, our classes, our affinity groups, our boards, and any other organizations aligned with us.
The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others are horrific flashpoints of systemic racism. Decades of marches and unrest have modified but not erased the centuries of codified enslavement and oppression that have plagued Black Americans and other communities of color, the fallout from which we continue to grapple with today.
Change is not optional. And the change we are called to starts with the support of each of us in the Notre Dame family. Notre Dame is blessed to have alumni and friends around the globe, and we have an opportunity — and a duty — to be “forces for good,” especially now for Black members of our ND family and local communities, as well as other disenfranchised populations.
I do not mean to suggest I have all the answers, but I do believe change starts with a willingness to act. Speak out against casual remarks that are antithetical to our Catholic and Christian teachings that recognize God created all men and women to be equal. Invest in communities of color and support Black-owned small businesses. Fight for equitable resources in our low-income community public schools and urban Catholic schools. Support honorable police officers and advocate for racial bias training and for discontinuing the excessive use of force by police. Be informed and act for justice.
Below I include many voices from the Notre Dame community who have spoken out in recent days, as well as additional resources to help us understand the issues we face. May we each listen and learn from them. But after we listen and learn, let us each use our own voices to echo for positive change.
As Father John noted in Monday’s “Prayer for Unity, Walk for Justice”
event, “We need an outcry. We need to advocate for justice.”
Yours in Notre Dame,