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An Invitation to Celebrate Diversity, Achieve Equity and Model Inclusion for the Common Good

An Invitation to Celebrate Diversity, Achieve Equity and Model Inclusion for the Common Good

“In a real sense all life is interrelated. All [people] are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"A circle allows everyone to see each other, touch each other. In a circle we have to meet as persons, and we have to acknowledge that we share a culture or a heritage or even just the land we are standing on. And we cannot deny to others the right to belong. It is the most profound acknowledgement of our belonging to the human race."  Adrienne Clarkson

“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” – 1 Corinthians 12:26

Dear Campus Community,

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic and these quotes serve as reminders of the interconnectedness of the human family and the importance of human rights and dignity for everyone, everywhere. We recognize that this is an unprecedented time for us as individuals, within families, and as a community. The good news is that with the challenges we are facing come opportunities for each of us to learn, lead and serve. By God’s grace, that is exactly what we are doing not only as individuals, but also as a community. 

We, the undersigned offices, stand in resolute and prayerful solidarity with members of the UD, regional, state, national and global communities as we navigate the complex and far-reaching challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We join President Spina in our heartfelt gratitude for the amazing leadership and support being offered by so many throughout the University and beyond. We are reminded of our Commitment to Community through solidarity; “a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say to the good of all and of each because we are all really responsible for all” (Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 38, December 20, 1987).

As we unveil new and expanded ways of delivering courses and engaging students through online platforms and broadening remote working conditions, we offer these thoughts for strengthening and supporting our community in a time of pandemic:

  • Be mindful of who we are as a Catholic, Marianist University whose core values drive our commitment to being a University for the Common Good. It is in that vein that we are encouraged to respond to the challenges we face in ways that are not driven by fear, that reflect awareness of the impact of our words, decisions and actions on others, and to repudiate activities (like hoarding or blaming) that place others at heightened risk and vulnerability. We are reminded that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • As students and staff work remotely, several relational, economic as well as physical and mental health issues might affect them in different and profound ways. For instance, there might be students facing a parent’s or their own loss of income, caring for siblings or children at home, or facing the hardships of lockdown measures. Be willing to listen and keep channels of communication open so that we can all seek to receive the support and interaction required to manage these stressors to the extent possible.
  • As we move to working remotely and delivering courses online, let us recognize that not all employees and students have equitable access to resources such as WiFi, VPN, computers or privacy that many of us may take for granted. In such cases, we encourage students to contact their faculty, advisors or dean’s office. In the case of employees, we urge them to contact their immediate supervisor or UDit. 
  • As we consider new ways of teaching and learning in a remote environment, resources on accessibility, student engagement and Inclusive Excellence can be found on the Keep Teaching website, which was developed by the Office of eLearning. Perspectives on how to interpret the COVID 19 Pandemic from the lens of the Common Good can be found on this libguide. The Human Rights Center and the Fr. Ferree Chair of Social Justice organized a 4-week series of online teach-ins entitled "The Pandemic and the Common Good" during the month of April. Find more information about this initiative on the Human Rights Center’s calendar.
  • The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people in differentiated and disproportionate ways depending on identity, age, sex and other specific circumstances. We remain mindful that the most vulnerable among us often carry the most risk and the highest burden. Consider ways we can offer support to friends, family, colleagues or strangers to help ease the challenges people are facing challenges in this area. You can find a few suggestions on the University of Dayton’s COVID-19 Resources, under “What can I do to help?” If you are aware of a student in crisis, please refer them to the Student Crisis Fund.
  • There are those in our community who are themselves or have family members working on the frontlines of this crisis. We recognize their heightened burden and extend our deep appreciation for this essential life-saving and life-affirming service. 

As part of that commitment, we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment, whether on campus or virtually. The Equity Compliance Office has received several reports of COVID-19 related anti-Asian harassment. If you witness or are affected by such behavior anywhere in our UD community, including our online conference rooms and classrooms, please report it to the Equity Compliance Office using this link. This behavior has no place anywhere in our community, and UD stands firm in condemning and rejecting it.  

As we live into the “new norms” in advancing UD’s Catholic, Marianist education in our current situation, we offer each of us these reminders that we are not alone on this journey:

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9b)


In the Spirit of Community,

The Brook Center, which houses LGBTQ+ Student Services

Campus Ministry

Center for International Programs

Dean of Students Office

Equity Compliance Office

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

Human Rights Center

Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Office of the President

Office of the Provost

Ryan C. Harris Learning Teaching Center

UDit

Women’s Center

CONTACT

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

St. Mary's Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1626