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A Message from the Providence College President

Dear Members of the Providence College Community,

We all are challenged during dark and difficult times like these to reflect, to engage, to act, and to commit to Jesus’ most fundamental command that we love one another as He has loved us. We ask today that you join us in that commitment and in prayer for those who are in despair, who are in danger, and who have suffered loss.

The horrific tragedies across our country reflect the systemic racial injustice that are anathema to all we believe as Christians and as people who pursue truth – veritas – in all that we do. The protests we are witnessing, rooted in frustrations that are amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit poor and minority communities particularly hard, demonstrate society’s outrage with the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and more other victims over decades than we can count. Their deaths are not merely a result of excessive force by police or inexplicable acts of violence but, rather, systemic anti-black violence. Unchecked and without true reform, these systems have terrorized communities of color for far too long and have reopened a wound that has festered throughout our country’s history. 

As a Catholic and a Dominican institution, Providence College condemns all forms of racism, violence, bigotry, and hate. When atrocities such as these occur, we must unite to condemn them and support those in need. We must speak out and do our part to reform the structures that allow such injustices and leverage our positions to actively dismantle those systems. That recognition and awareness carry with them both a responsibility and a calling to act. We are called to teach and educate, so that all who enroll here and all who work here come to understand the value of every person. We are called to hold each other accountable for our actions in a way that also shows our love and compassion for one another. And we are called to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the black members of our community in mourning and in prayer. We pray that God may open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts in order that we all honor each other with dignity and respect as members of His human family.

On behalf of the entire Providence College community, we express our deepest solidarity with, and sympathy to, the families of Mr. Floyd, Ms. Taylor, Mr. Arbery and all families of those subjected to these systemic forms of violence. Providence College has struggled with numerous incidents of racism in its history, including our recent history. Our black students, faculty, and staff have known its sting on our campus. They have been courageous in calling it out and increasing awareness, which has strengthened our resolve to work toward building a beloved community where all people are welcomed and valued for who they are.  While we recognize the challenges that we face, we firmly recommit ourselves to creating a culture at Providence College where all members of our community are respected, valued, and treasured as individuals created in the image and likeness of God.

As members of the Friar family, please join us in praying for these families, for all those in pain throughout the country, and for needed change that must come to fruition in our country.   

Sincerely,

Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P.

President

Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, O.P.

President-Elect