Reflecting on Ferguson, Missouri

August 26, 2014

Dear Students and Members of the Georgetown University Community:

As we begin the academic year, we are mindful that our nation has been deeply affected by the events surrounding the tragic shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

In moments of national turmoil, universities are a unique place to reflect, to convene discussions, and to engage in dialogue about the many aspects of the events unfolding around us. Being in a university community allows us the opportunity to learn from one another, and to reach a deeper understanding of the implications of events occurring at this moment in history.

I invite each of you to join me and other members of our community at two events this week that will provide us an opportunity for reflection and engagement on the events in Ferguson. We are deeply grateful to the students and faculty who are working with our university leadership in coordinating these events.

A student-led vigil tonight at 8:00 p.m. in Red Square to remember Michael Brown. In the words of the Black Leadership Forum, our student organizers, we will take this moment to "recognize the importance of America's youth" and to join together in "not only mourning, but growing in this moment of societal loss."

Reflections on Ferguson, a community-wide discussion in Gaston Hall on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. that will include conversation with members of our Georgetown faculty and an open comment period for audience members. For those who cannot be present, this event will be webcast live. I also encourage you to join the discussion on social media using the hashtag #ReflectionsatGU.

The students of today will be tasked with becoming the leaders of tomorrow in an increasingly complex world. I invite you to join us in a dialogue that is essential to our future and to the well-being of our community. It is up to each of us to bring our talents and our best selves to this ongoing and important work.

I look forward to engaging with all of you in the days and months ahead.

Sincerely,

John J. DeGioia