Hamilton-Williams Campus Center #308
Delaware, Ohio 43015
Black lives matter. Black dignity matters. Black thriving matters.
These statements are incontrovertible and need no qualification.
In most, if not all, of the world's religious traditions and humanist worldviews, human dignity and love of neighbor stand as the heart and foundation of what it means to be ethical. As the Chaplain's Office, we continue to reject racist policies and ideas that elevate the dignity and value of one group of people above the dignity and value of another group as antithetical to this core ethic. We recommit to antiracist policies and ideas which demand that people of color (and other marginalized groups) be treated with dignity and equity.
Furthermore, at their best, the spiritual life, the humanist life, and the ethical life stand with courage to speak truth to power in love. We speak in love to those who would protect and serve on the streets of the United States and at its borders this stark truth: Racist violence and murder done in the name of the law is worse than the violence and murder done by the most base criminal because it also betrays the public trust and oath of honor taken. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are three more branches on the horrific lynching tree whose roots stretch back into the depths of American history. It is long past time for this tree to be cut down. From Black persons facing police brutality to Latinx persons facing border patrol brutality, all forms of racial violence and abuse of power must cease.
In just the past year, we gathered as a campus community for One OWU to decry racist ideas and actions and to hear the realities faced by our students of color. We obviously have work to do, both on campus and in our world. The Chaplain's Office is a space for hard questions, difficult conversations, and uneasy answers. We invite you into our space, and we would welcome the chance to meet you in yours. We renew our commitment to advocacy and support for students of color. We renew our commitment to our partnerships with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, student cultural groups, and others. We renew our commitment to advocate antiracist actions and implement antiracist policies at OWU and in all the spaces we enter.
In what has already been a shockingly difficult year, may we each find the wisdom and the courage to examine our lives, to commit to antiracism, and to become, ever more truly, One OWU. So may it be.
Dr. Chad Johns
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