Over the past two years, a number of incidents across the country have prompted college students, faculty and administrators to address critical issues of racial tolerance and diversity on college campuses. But how do you bring about meaningful changes, ones that will truly make a difference in the lives of young college students in the 21st century?
This issue of Connections highlights ways that Jesuit colleges and universities are taking the lead: Saint Louis University President Dr. Fred P. Pestello was praised by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for his handling of Ferguson-related protests on campus in October 2014, and Loyola University Chicago opened an innovative community college for low-income students on campus last fall. These are just two examples of the many ways that our institutions demonstrate their commitment to the Jesuit ideal of pursuing justice for all.
We also invite you to read about the AJCU Conference on Diversity and Equity (CDE), which is profiled in this issue of Connections. One of the oldest AJCU Conferences, CDE will celebrate its 35th anniversary this year and host an annual meeting at Santa Clara University this summer. There is still plenty of time to register for the meeting, which will focus on the theme, “Mission Matters: Moving from Strong Words to Courageous Actions” (click here for more).
Finally, in this time of Lent, we invite you to reflect on themes of social and racial justice through the Ignatian Solidarity Network’s (ISN) online series, Lift Every Voice: A Lenten Journey Toward Racial Justice. You can also find inspiring quotes about faith and justice on ISN’s website, including one from former Jesuit Superior General Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J. I end this letter with a remark of his that resonates so deeply today:
“To be just, it is not enough to refrain from injustice. One must go further and refuse to play its game, substituting love for self interest as the driving force of society.” – Rev. Pedro Arrupe, S.J.
All the best,
Deanna I. Howes
Director of Communications, AJCU