Dear Chaminade Family,
Like you, we have spent considerable time reflecting on the tragedy, uncertainty, and angst that has become our collective and current reality. The senseless killing of George Floyd and the protests that have followed illuminate the deep-seated problems in our country that have understandably evoked pain, fear, and anger, especially amongst people of color and the black community. This comes at a time when our country is already wrestling with a global pandemic which has caused uncertainty for many, including members of our own community.
These recent events highlight the incredible weight and pain of racism that is an enduring reality for many members of our Chaminade family, including students, parents, employees, alumni, and parents of alumni. Sadness does not begin to describe the hurt we feel for you.
In the wake of our celebrations for the Class of 2020, we are especially mindful of the fact that we are sending students into a country that has not healed from the wounds of its past. Both parents and educators pride themselves on having the answers, keeping our children and students safe, and ensuring that they inherit a better world. Yet, we find ourselves in a reality that many of us are ill-equipped to explain to our children and students.
We write to convey a message of hope. And we write to reaffirm Chaminade’s commitment to our core values of inclusion, justice, peace, and service as we work to educate our students, engage our parents, care for our employees, and minister to our alumni and their families.
To our students, employees, and alumni of color, we reach out to reassure you that we are here to listen to and support you. To the parents of our students and alumni of color, we acknowledge the difficulties you face while preparing your children for the world that awaits, while simultaneously enduring these realities yourselves. Please know that the Chaminade family stands with you.
It is our obligation – as community members and as Catholics – to educate ourselves and our students about societal injustice. Faith-filled communities like ours are rooted in a shared respect for the dignity of all people; it is this belief that allows us to stand in solidarity with those who bear the historic and continued burdens of racism and inequality.
As educators, it is our responsibility to continue to educate our young people on the various ways injustice is manifested in our society. With the disproportionate impact of the pandemic and police violence on communities of color now at the forefront of our civil discourse, this role has never been more important.
While collaborating on this message, we received several letters from alumni and word of a petition circulating among members of our community respectfully insisting that Chaminade administration reevaluate curriculum to broaden the discussion of race and inequality. Receipt of these messages has been affirming because it demonstrates that our students and alumni have truly taken the Characteristics of Marianist Education to heart. Thank you for encouraging Chaminade to do better. Please know that you have been heard and work is being done to address your concerns. You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with additional concerns, specific ideas, and proposed solutions.
In the prophetic spirit of Mary, Mother of the Church, the Chaminade family works together as agents of change with the mission of witnessing the message of the Gospel: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9). We continue this work in earnest, and hope to be a positive force for change that will benefit communities today and for generations to come.
If you need support during these difficult times, please email us at email@example.com. Your concerns will be directed to the appropriate resource, including campus ministry, counseling, or financial aid.
Finally, we offer this prayer of peace, may it inspire God’s protection of all involved in our national discourse, including protesters, community leaders, and first responders.
Father of Peace and Living Breath,
We come to you in hope
Asking for the touch of your healing hand
On our pained city and country
As again we confront the specter of racism and violence.
Give us your wisdom to build communities
Founded on the values of Jesus,
With respect for the life, dignity,
And equality of all people.
With the guidance and outpouring of your Holy Spirit,
Use us as the new peacemakers of our time,
To build a more just and respectful society
That ensures safety and equality for all.
Let us engage in new conversations
Listening with empathy and sensitivity,
Hearing each other’s aspirations
Respecting the voice of the other.
Through our Catholic, Marianist mission
Of service, justice, and peace,
Help us unite as one family
To be a voice for life and human dignity.
We stand in solidarity and pray
For all who feel the burden of inequality,
And for those who face the prospect
Of rebuilding lives and livelihoods.
We ask all this through Christ, our Lord.
Robert S. Webb P’18, P’20
Mary Catherine Campbell P’13, P’15, P’18
Middle School Principal
Bro. Tom Fahy
High School Principal
Incoming High School Principal