Message to Our Community: An Intolerable Act

  • Monday, Aug 24, 2020

Madison, Wis. (August 24, 2020) – President Andrew Manion sent this message email to all students, faculty, and staff this morning:

Dear Students and Colleagues –

You are likely aware of yet another police shooting of an unarmed black man, this time in Kenosha, in southeastern Wisconsin.

Jacob Blake was shot several times, in the back, by police, in a horrifying incident last evening. That shooting was captured on video. He is a father of three young children, who reportedly were inside the vehicle that is seen in the video. An independent investigation has been initiated and there is more to learn about this case. Nevertheless, our community is wounded by acts of violence in any circumstances.

As of this writing, it’s reported that Jacob Blake is alive and in a hospital in Milwaukee.

In a communication that today seems like last year (it was May 2020), we talked about the murder of George Floyd, and how our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice compels us to speak. That was true then, as it is today. Our Dominican roots and Catholic identity demand that we reaffirm our community, that we stand with our Black students, faculty, and staff. As is true with George Floyd’s murder, the shooting by police of Jacob Blake hurts us all, but it hurts people of color more.

As was true in May, those of us who have not had to experience this kind of violence, trauma, oppression, and injustice have not worked hard enough to end it. In our own community, we are taking steps to transform our culture into the model of community and social justice that our mission and values demand of us. I won’t revisit those steps here, because words too often ring hollow in a time of crisis. And make no mistake, this virus of institutional racism that reaches into every corner of our lives is a crisis.

Please take a moment to pray – in whatever way you choose – for Jacob Blake’s recovery. I ask that any demonstrations in support of Jacob be peaceful. We must do our best to respond to violence with non-violence. Let’s also remember to support one another in the days ahead. Mornings like today may renew our doubts, but we can and will become a community that sets the standard for mutual respect, belonging, and love.

Be well.

Cor ad cor loquitur.

-Andrew P. Manion, Ph.D., President