Message from the President: Statement of Support for our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Community Members
Office of the President
March 26, 2021
Dear Members of the Cheverus Community,
It is with tremendous joy that we welcomed back students to campus today after the temporary remote learning period due to COVID-19. In the time that students have been away from campus, two horrific shootings took place, one in Atlanta and one in Boulder. We keep the victims of these incidents and their families in our prayers.
The shooting in Atlanta, as well as incidents right here in Portland, shine a light on the surge in Asian hate crimes over that last year during the pandemic. The increase is alarming. To our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community members, we condemn this racist rhetoric and violence. We stand in solidarity with you.
Racism in any form is a sin. As a school and a work of the Society of Jesus, we are called to stand in solidarity with people of all races who are angered, harmed and feeling betrayed by people in power who commit and support racist acts.
If you feel you need support, please reach out to our Guidance Office, our Dean of Students Mr. Costigan, or our Principal Dr. Moran.
The Cheverus Civil Rights Team gathered via Zoom this week to discuss the rise in Asian hate crimes and called, “on every member of our community to actively resist all forms of bias and racism.” Dr. Moran invites members of our community, especially students, for an important student-lead event entitled, “Racism Is A Virus: Panel Discussion On The Asian American Youth Experience in Maine” next Wednesday, March 31, from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Hosted by the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, the event is free but registration is required. The Civil Rights Team will host a follow-up discussion for Cheverus students on April 13.
This week Pope Francis said, “Instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think.” Reflecting on and taking action against injustice and hate is work that demands a compassionate and open heart. Cheverus commits, with a compassionate and open heart, to working together to educate, understand, and eliminate intolerance and racism in our community.
Fr. Robert J. Pecoraro, SJ