In Solidarity

Dear USD Campus Community:

As an engaged, contemporary Catholic university, our mission, vision and values call on us to recognize and protect human dignity and to promote solidarity. Tragically, recent events close to home and across the nation demonstrate that racism continues to be one of our most urgent challenges.

We specifically need to condemn the unacceptable rise in hate directed at members of the Asian, Asian-American, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander communities locally and in other parts of our country, which has had a direct and demoralizing impact on our students, faculty and staff. As a university community, we stand in solidarity with our friends and colleagues by offering our support, strength, prayers and action on their behalf.

As we move past the one-year mark since the declaration of the coronavirus as a global pandemic, we realize that members of the Asian, Asian-American, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander communities have too often been incorrectly blamed, scapegoated and attacked. It is our role to counter disinformation with the truth, and cultivate a deep sense of compassion and a call for justice for all those hurt by such distortions.

To ensure our university community continues to promote inclusive excellence, equity and social justice, we will soon be announcing an ambitious multi-year plan to elevate USD’s work in diversity and inclusion. After Easter, we will be launching a comprehensive strategic initiative to help the university fulfill its commitment to this work.

Until then, as a way of remembering and standing in solidarity with victims of hate, the 12:15 p.m. Mass on Friday, March 19, will be dedicated to them and will include special prayers for an end to racism. The livestream of the Mass is available here. In addition, those near to campus are permitted to attend in person at The Immaculata, provided they wear facial coverings, maintain physical distance and obtain a wristband from a USD health screening station.

In Solidarity,

James T. Harris III, D.Ed.