June 01, 2020

Our Faith Condemns Racism and Discrimination

Dear Members of the University Community,
I want to join my voice to those who have expressed sorrow and anger at the death of George Floyd. The manner of his death was inexcusable. I offer my condolences and prayers to Floyd’s family and friends, and to the members of our University community who have been affected by his death.
Protests in DC have been largely peaceful, though a few have turned violent and destructive. They have brought to our minds issues of racial injustice which should not exist in a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Mayor Muriel Browser and the Metropolitan Police Department have been appropriately supportive of the rights of citizens to demonstrate, and have done their best to keep the city safe for all of us. These have been complicated days, and we should anticipate more to come.
I want to take this occasion to restate a few of the key beliefs of this University community. Our faith condemns racism and discrimination of any kind. They have no place on the campus of The Catholic University of America.  Saint Paul wrote in the letter to the Galatians that we “are all one in Christ Jesus (3:26-28).” Our Church teaches that “[e]very form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.” 
Second, we at Catholic University are committed to maintaining a safe environment for everyone who lives and works here. Our Public Safety officers are trained in the best practices of community policing, which include de-escalation training and racial bias training. As public safety officers of this University they are held to a higher standard, and are trained to use the minimum of force needed in every situation. 
But the safety of our community is the responsibility of us all. Anyone who sees someone here in danger, or who experiences racial discrimination of any kind, should report it. There are many reporting mechanisms our community members can use.  I list some below. We also have a tip helpline for anyone who wants to file a complaint anonymously. 
For members of our community who are living now in DC, please take care and be safe. We ask that everyone abide by the citywide curfew. If you are participating in the protests, please be witnesses of peace.
John Garvey


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