As the chief administrators of more than two thousand girls in single gender Catholic preparatory schools and an adult education program for immigrant woman, we voice our anger, anguish, and sorrow at the senseless killing of Mr. George Floyd and others before him. We join with civic and religious leaders in decrying these sinful and immoral actions and offer our prayers and sympathy to the Floyd family. But that is not enough.
Racism has a long history in our country and its pervasiveness is obvious as we witness the injustices suffered by people of color. They know all too well, the injustices received in health care systems, educational structures, places of worship, law enforcement, and countless other experiences of discrimination, lack of dignity and respect, and even instances of hatred.
Racism is not just a black issue; it is not just a Hispanic issue; it is not just an immigrant issue. It is an American issue; it is our issue. It calls each of us to a conversion of heart so that we might see the sinfulness of racism that affects our brothers and sisters of color and indeed all people. No one community can alter this systemic evil. Rather, each of us must commit to doing our part.
As educators of women, we have a dream. It is not a dream for some future time; it is for now – for today – for this hour. It is a dream that our graduates will bring with them an abiding sense of justice, an awareness of racial discrimination, a commitment borne from the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of caring for the “dear neighbor” and the strength to join with others in developing right relationships among all of God’s people.
For our part, we, the educational leaders in schools sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph, commit ourselves to address and resolve the institutional racism which privileges some at the expense of others, to decry all actions which diminish the dignity and respect of individuals, and to lead all members of our educational communities toward a future where all may be one. In the tradition of our founders, we strive to bring God’s active inclusive love to all of our brothers and sisters.
Academia Maria Reina, San Juan, PR
Rita Hernandez, Principal
Fontbonne Hall Academy, Brooklyn, NY
Mary Ann Spicijaric, Principal
Sacred Heart Academy, Hempstead, NY
Kristin Lynch Graham, President
- Jean Amore, CSJ, Principal
St. Joseph High School, Brooklyn, NY
Maysa Antonio, Principal
The Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica Estates, NY
Ann O’Hagan Cordes, Principal
The CSJ Learning Connection for Adult Education
Denise Murray, Program Director