As we all learned of the verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, my thoughts turned first to George Floyd and his family. With them, and with all who mourn the tragic loss of his life, I considered what the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released in their statement on the verdict:

“The death of George Floyd highlighted and amplified the deep need to see the sacredness in all people, but especially those who have been historically oppressed.”

The critical concerns of our Mercy mission cannot be underestimated in their importance to a hurting world in need of healing. To see the “sacredness in all people,” what we hope to embody in our values of reverence and compassion, has never been more essential. Our continuous efforts at Mercy College to create an inclusive and equitable community must answer this call to reconcile justice and mercy for the sake of the communities for whom we have been placed by providence to be a healing presence.

We will remain ever vigilant regarding the impact of systemic racism in our midst, attending to the ways we can improve as a Mercy College family, and striving to do our part to mend what is broken in our world.

Our hearts and prayers remain with George Floyd and his family.

Douglas J. Fiore, PhD