Adler University President Raymond E. Crossman, Ph.D., speaks to the injustice, inequity, and marginalization surrounding recent events in a message to Chicago and Online Campus students, faculty, and staff.
I am writing to you at the end of a challenging week for our nation and our city. Across the past few years, every morning seems to me to bring news of new and ongoing challenges to human dignity, equity, and justice—and even in that context, this week seemed particularly difficult.
At the national level, the swirl surrounding the current Supreme Court nominee included such disrespect for survivors of sexual violence that many feel marginalized, scared, and angry. No matter the outcome of the Senate vote for the nominee tomorrow, the polarizing rhetoric of this week ignores everything we know about how such violence and its aftermath happens every day. Every family and community is affected by sexual violence, and many are reeling to hear national leaders speak so rashly and hatefully.
Here in Chicago, the weeks of trial proceedings for the police officer charged with the murder of Laquan McDonald reached a conclusion today with a guilty verdict. The trial underscores the deep inequity and injustice that the African American community experiences in our city and nation. We live in a country divided by race – a country in which people are differently safe in their homes and neighborhoods. We face systemic racism that leaves many also feeling marginalized, scared, and angry. As the verdict was heard and understood today, the announcement was still a flashpoint of anxiety and pain across the city and nation.
Sexism and racism are distinct as well as overlapping forms of oppression. And we continue to hear every day about injustice as experienced by immigrants, people living in poverty, and others.
Following a difficult week, I believe it’s important for us to come together as a community for dialogue and action as we witness these and other events continue to unfold. You work consistently and diligently in our classrooms, in our offices, in our common hours, and at our partner sites to advance social justice. I’ve asked the faculty to create additional supports and opportunities on campus – such as discussion groups, restorative justice circles, colloquia, or other forums—for us to address these ongoing events and to take care of one another across our endeavors. You’ll hear more from us next week.
I am proud of the many members of our community – students, faculty, staff, partners, and alumni – who promote respect, social and racial equity, and healing. Such work is the core of the mission of Adler University to create a more just society, and this work must be created anew every day through our discussion, planning, and action.