An active social justice and civic leader, Raymond E. Crossman has served as President of Adler University since 2003. He is a founder and Co-Chair of LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education, Board Chair for Illinois Campus Compact, and Co-Chair of Global LGBTQ Action. He also serves on the boards of Chicago Public Media,Thresholds, Chicago Loop Alliance, and OUT at Chicago History Museum.
Sunday’s mass shooting, the largest yet in the modern United States, has produced bewilderment, anger, and grief for our nation, the LGBTQ community, communities of faith, including Islam, and many of us individually. We all are holding those directly and indirectly impacted by the events in Orlando in our hearts and minds right now.
These mass killings, especially in the ongoing context of violence and oppression as an everyday occurrence in Chicago, where one of our campuses is located, take a toll on our sense of safety, emotional well-being, and footing in the world.
I ask that our University community come together to talk about the impact of violence—in Orlando, Chicago, and worldwide—that targets any particular group based on demography or belief system. These targeted acts of violent oppression fight our work toward gemeinschaftsgefühl. These acts provide a loud and compelling call to action as socially responsible practitioners. It is my hope that our conversations challenge us to look at individual and collective actionable steps we can take to eliminate these acts of senseless violence.
At the same time, one reality of social justice work is that it can often tax us beyond our emotional and physical means. As such, we need to care for ourselves as much as each other.
Our work has never been more important than it is now. It is in these moments that I find comfort in each and every graduate, both our alumni and our future alumni, in making the world a more just—and safe—place in which to live.