June 2, 2020
Dear Gibbons Community,
Today, we are writing to you to address the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others that have brought us to this difficult and sad moment in our country's history.
The subsequent protests around the country, including in downtown Raleigh, prompt us to reflect on what action we can take to move forward together.
The Gibbons community is rooted in love, respect, and mutual support, and, as such, we are called upon to respect the dignity of all human beings. We celebrate and honor those values by embracing the mission of Jesus Christ to love one another unconditionally without judgment and reservation. The events of the last few days ask us to live out our mission more than ever.
In his letter dated May 31, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called upon us: “to honor the sacrifice of his (George Floyd’s) life by removing racism and hate from our hearts and renewing our commitment to fulfill our nation’s sacred promise — to be a beloved community of life, liberty, and equality for all.”
Here are some ways that together we can accomplish that now.
1. Do something in the next 24 hours to bring attention to racial inequity by offering words of strength to someone you know who is vulnerable or feeling pain.
2. Pray the Rosary to heal our nation and to end racial injustice in our world.
3. Reach out to friends and family who are struggling with anger and pain over these systemic racial injustices They may be frightened or scared and would love to hear from a familiar voice.
We don’t know how to prevent this from happening again, but we can work toward ending the cycle of violence taking place in our city and country, which has experienced the most challenging and unsettling three months in our lifetime.
Cardinal Gibbons is committed to racial justice and equity, and we want to be a place that is inclusive and supports all our students. To our students, families and colleagues of color, in particular in the African-American community, we see you, we hear you, and we will support you in any way we can. We are committed to your safety and to hearing your voice.
We ask that all members of the Gibbons community join together in solidarity to support those who suffer terribly due to racial inequity, and we are committed to being empathic and open in our conversations, even when they are hard and uncomfortable.
We feel blessed and grateful for the opportunity to learn and improve as a Catholic school that is committed to our mission because of each of you.
Yours in prayer,
Head of School