Learning and Student Success Statement of Solidarity
Justice. Faith. Loyola University Chicago identifies these three principles as essential in its mission to serve humanity. These principles must guide our actions in Learning & Student Success(L&SS)as we stand with our Black students and colleagues in the face of anti-Blackness and white supremacy. George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile and Breonna Taylor are among many others who were systematically slain because they were Black in America. L&SS recognizes that LUC is a historically and predominately white institution. While we often highlight our beautiful lakeshore campus, we also acknowledge our presence in Chicago, which has a history of racist policies including police brutality, redlining, and divestment from Black communities.
We believe that a safe environment is essential for all students to develop critical consciousness, critical thinking skills, and the ability to turn reflection into action. However, we recognize that for our students of color, particularly Black students, systemic racism and oppression create an environment that is inherently unsafe. We must remember that that the field of higher education was historically built to uphold the walls of whiteness, and there is work to be done to make it a safe space for non-white students.
We commit ourselves to working towards becoming anti-racist by holding ourselves and our peers accountable for biases, acting as allies against racism with our Black students, staff, and faculty in the Loyola community, and serving as accomplices in dismantling systematic oppression. We commit to the following actions:
- Educating student leaders in anti-racist work through ongoing trainings that amplify Black voices and experiences
- Providing opportunities for professional and personal staff development dedicated to anti-racist thinking and un-learning biases
- Collaborating with SDMA and other campus partners to promote work that supports our Black students on campus
- Continuing to create inclusive spaces for engagement in learning by developing equitable and intersectional policies and access to resources
- Using our position to influence University leadership to create a safe environment that does not adversely affect our Black students but supports their persistence and success
- Continuing our commitment to equitable hiring practices for undergraduate student workers, graduate student workers, and professional staff
- Embracing the Jesuit tradition of teaching students to "...learn to perceive, think, judge, choose and act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed” (Peter Hans Kolvenbach SJ, former Superior General of the Jesuits)
- Maintaining critical hope and recognizing the resiliency of the Loyola community as we work together to combat racism
Our goal moving forward is for our Black students to have faith and assurance in us as allies and leaders. We are dedicated to learning and growing through this process, and this living document will be a reflection of our commitment to action.