The following is a letter from Brooke Berry, Marymount University’s Dean of Students, Equity and Inclusion, which was sent to all students, faculty and staff this March.
As COVID-19 has spread across the world, there has been an increase in anti-Asian violence and harassment. Hate has no place at Marymount University. Founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM), the principles of inclusion are deeply rooted in the culture of Marymount. The RSHM’s mission is: “that all may have life and have it to the full.” Marymount University condemns all acts of racism, xenophobia, prejudice, stigmatization and systemic oppression that bar all individuals from living life to the full. The Marymount community includes individuals from diverse religious, ethnic, cultural, gender, national, socioeconomic and racial backgrounds. Being a Saint means embracing our own and others’ identities, uniting through diversity.
We recognize and stand with our Asian Pacific Islander Desi community members and any other marginalized group members who may be experiencing discrimination based on race, ethnicity and national origin. We also call on all members of the Marymount community to unify in cross-cultural solidarity, to intervene if they observe acts of bias and to report individuals who do not honor the Saints’ Promise to embody the MU core values of professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, excellence, faith and service.
Our work must also go beyond intervention and reporting. To sustain this long fight against racism, we encourage members of our community to look inward. We must continue to address, in a healthy way, harmful limiting thoughts and beliefs of racial biases and stereotypes that can lead to outward expressions of microaggression. We must amplify the voices of marginalized groups. While honoring the complexities and intersectionality of our individual identities, we must continue to listen, learn and have uncomfortable but important conversations. This work opens the doorway to deepening understanding, raising awareness within ourselves and with each other, and fostering an inclusive and safe community.
To our Asian Pacific Islander Desi community members and any others from other marginalized groups who may be experiencing discrimination, you belong here. Our diversity is a source of strength, and we are here for you. We are charged by our Catholic identity to uplift those who are suffering and to walk daily in love, care and compassion. We are committed to continuing the fight for racial justice and creating an inclusive campus here at Marymount.
Reporting Xenophobia and Racism at Marymount University
If you observe or experience anti-Asian racism on or around campus, please consider submitting a report here.