With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic coinciding with yet another set of lives senselessly lost to violence, it feels as though our nation is battling on two major fronts. On the one hand, we are facing a viral contagion that has ravaged communities, caused a staggering death toll, and has left a gaping wound that our nation must heal. On the other hand, we are battling deeply rooted ideologies of hate and prejudice that are doing exactly the same thing.
For all the similarities we might draw upon, there exists a vast divide between the two. One came and spread like a parasite, invisibly preying upon victims at its own biological will. The other is born from centuries of sin and inequality.
Battling COVID-19 requires heroes on the front lines of healthcare, industries ramping up to supply vital resources, and the scientific community collaborating on efforts toward treatment and vaccines. Confronting the issue of racism and its assault on members of our society will take the same type of concerted effort. It comes down to us to be the heroes of humanity—to squash the deep-seated and vicious notion that someone's life is less valuable due to the color of their skin.
Victory against COVID-19 has been described as "getting back to normal." Victory against the plague of racism in our nation means avoiding what we know as normal. It means shifting in a new and unified direction - to rise above politics and embrace an unwavering belief that we are each granted the precious gift of life, which is to be cherished without prejudice.
Neither of these two major afflictions devastating our society has easy solutions. We can mask the biological contagion, but we have to unmask the ideological one. As a community of faith, let's come at this together with compassion and understanding. Let's be heroes for justice and amplify the truth. Let's give voice to the voiceless so that they may finally be heard. Let's gather in ways that build rather than break.
I'm deeply committed to fostering a school community that does not turn away from the struggles of injustice and inequality. Loyola Blakefield will continue to provide opportunity for meaningful dialogue and educate in a way that ignites hearts and minds to act on behalf of a more just world.