President Cesareo: Striving for Justice Amid Evil

Jun 01, 2020

The following message from President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D. was shared with students, faculty and staff on Saturday, May 30.

“Once again, the nation’s consciousness is tested.

The tragic and unfortunate deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others whose lives were needlessly extinguished offer yet another stark reminder of the hatred and evil of racism that prevails in our country.

These deaths, and countless others before them, are a clear disregard for the sanctity of all human life. During a troubling time in which we should be coming together to support one another, these incidents force us to look inward amid a country in which racism is pervasive. How can a nation that is founded upon the principle that all people are created equal continue to bear witness to such horrific injustices?

We have also witnessed the injustices imposed upon Christian Cooper, an individual who was threatened with a serious and false accusation while innocently bird watching in Central Park and Omar Jimenez, a CNN reporter arrested while reporting the news from Minneapolis. These reprehensible events follow the pain realized by the disproportionate number of African-Americans afflicted with COVID-19. The agony incurred by George Floyd and other victims of injustice remind us all that as a society we can, must and will do better.

The taking of human life must evoke within each of us sadness, disappointment and anger. But it is how those emotions are channeled for good, for progress, that define one’s character and purpose to heal and better the world in which we live. That is at the core of what Assumption imparts upon our students.

Assumption was founded as a community to serve immigrants. Our purpose and mission endures as we maintain a commitment to serve and educate a diverse group of individuals who enhance the unique college experience for which Assumption is known. We are blessed with a culturally rich and diverse community that enhances the dialogue and understanding of varied and diverse viewpoints, providing the promise of new energy and new ways of thinking. As a community, we grow and strengthen when we promote appreciation and opportunities to learn from one another.

As a community of faith, with love and respect at its core, we pray for the families of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others whose lives were needlessly taken or who were unfairly profiled in the name of hatred. We pray for all who are suffering from injustice and discrimination. We pray for those in the law enforcement community who carry out their duties with love, fairness and compassion and pray for reform in that community where needed. And we pray for our students and the Assumption community.

May we all strive to love another as God loves us.”