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Religious Studies Department 2016

Religious Studies Department 2016

Statement of Solidarity

In response to recent hateful acts locally and nationally, we, the faculty of Religious Studies at Santa Clara University, affirm the dignity of all people who share this campus. We firmly denounce all actions and rhetoric that promote violence against any person or group, and particularly against communities and individuals historically underrepresented in higher education and other loci of social power. As we stand against dehumanizing words and deeds, we express our solidarity with those affected by acts of hatred, violence, and intimidation, wherever they may occur. We pledge to engage our students in conversation, writing, reflection, and action that address these concerns, both those who have faced such challenges and those whose hearts are moved in empathy.

This solidarity statement arises in reflection on the post-election climate and the inflammatory rhetoric of the president-elect, as well as acts of vandalism on our own campus earlier this term. We as a community stand together to denounce any acts of gender, racial, religious, and sexual intolerance. We hold fast to the values of safety and respect, as well as free speech and academic freedom, which can foster a respectful environment for conversation. We find great value in the diversity that enlivens and defines our campus community. We also see acts of vandalism in Casa Italiana and on the Memorial to the 43 “disappeared” Mexican students as linked with bullying and intimidation that underrepresented groups have experienced at the national level during the election cycle and are continuing to face in its aftermath.

We consider this an opportunity for personal and community reflection about systemic issues reinforced by violence and threats of violence—gendered, racial, political, sexual, and economic. Such systems require our attention toward their transformation. In gratitude for our pluralistic context here in Santa Clara, we wish to draw upon the resources of the Jesuit, Catholic heritage, of all the faith traditions represented on our campus, and of valuable secular resources that are oriented toward ethical and moral leadership. In this way, we aim to realize the University's mission and vision to educate the whole person, to inhabit more fully the ideal of solidarity with marginalized peoples, and to build a more just, diverse, and sustainable community and world.

 

The Faculty of the Department of Religious Studies

Photo by Joanne Lee