Responding to Racial Injustice: New Commitments

February 5, 2016

Dear Members of our Georgetown University Community:

I am writing to share with you an update on the important work of our community to respond to the persistent challenge of racial injustice in our nation.  Yesterday afternoon in Lohrfink Auditorium, I offered reflections on “Racial Injustice in America: A Framework for Georgetown’s Future Engagement” and outlined a set of commitments to address what has been the besetting conflict of our American society.

We are witnesses today of the ramifications of the American experience of racism traceable to the very settling of our country.  What we witness must lead us to confront how continual racial injustice within the American context is manifest as well as to identify creative responses to it.  For our community, an authentic response recognizes our connection to this history, our effort to contribute as one of the world’s leading universities, our Catholic and Jesuit heritage, and the resources of ecumenical and interfaith understanding.

The commitments I outline call us to expect even more of ourselves, more of this place we call home.  We have a new contribution to make at an urgent inflection point for our country.

I invite you to read more about the new “Working Group on Racial Injustice: A Georgetown Response” that Provost Groves and I will establish in the coming days to support our efforts.

I wish to again express my deepest gratitude to the women and men of our faculty and staff who have consistently called us to find the very best in ourselves and have served so selflessly for so many years.  I also wish to thank all of our students and alumni who have made extraordinary contributions to this work, and who exemplify an exceptional dedication to fostering a community that is ever more inclusive.

I look forward to all we will accomplish in the time ahead as we come together, as a community, to discern the very best way to do this work in the urgency of this moment. 

You have my very best wishes.

Sincerely,

John J. DeGioia