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ED&I Communications

Communications to Campus Addressing Systemic Racism

President’s Messages

Father Hendrickson has spoken at length about Creighton’s duty to do more to address issues of systemic racism. Below is a selection of his messages to the Creighton community.

Feb. 11, 2021  I am writing you to share the news that Dr. Christopher Whitt, who has provided Creighton with innovative leadership and unifying strategic engagement on issues of diversity, inclusivity, and so much more, has accepted the position of Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion with the University of Denver. I am incredibly thrilled for Dr. Whitt and can say with certainty that he leaves Creighton a better place than when he arrived three years ago.

Nov. 10, 2020 – The newly formed President’s University Inclusive Excellence Council met for the first time at the end of last month. The council is chaired by Christopher M. Whitt, PhD, vice provost for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, and is composed of campus leaders, students, and faculty and staff representatives from each school, college, and division … I am deeply grateful to the members of this council and to all members of the Creighton community who are taking the lead in this important work.

Sept. 15, 2020 – Our aim is to create a more intentionally inclusive and just environment across our University and develop a culture that embraces anti-racism and addresses issues of systemic racism that are so woven into our nation’s historical fabric and continue to unjustly affect Black Americans today. Our students’ insights and perspectives, hopes and desires for a better future, and willingness to step forward into these important, and often difficult, conversations are welcome and heartening.

Aug. 26, 2020 – We stand firmly against acts of racism by individuals as well as systemic racism. Both go against the values we hold as a Jesuit, Catholic institution, and actions and statements that devalue the humanity of others are not part of who we are or who we strive to be.

Aug. 17, 2020 – Additionally, with the death of George Floyd this summer, our country is once again awakened to the inequalities and injustices that surround and shape our lives. Many of our faculty and staff this summer read Ibram Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist, and one of my favorite lines explains, “Like fighting an addiction, being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination.”

June 29, 2020 – I join the presidents at other Jesuit universities and colleges and the Jesuit provincials of the United States in an urgent call to Congress to pass the Dream Act of 2019. Additionally, I also celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmed protections for gay and transgender workers due to the 1964 Civil Rights Act — an expression of human dignity that is articulated in our own campus policies as well as in our mission statement wherein Creighton demonstrates a commitment to the inalienable worth of each individual.

June 17, 2020 – As I stated previously, Creighton University is called to do more, as an institution of higher learning, and as Jesuit and Catholic, to create healing and wholeness, and we will continue to reflect on and discern ways we can best achieve that directive.

May 31, 2020 – There is no denying that George Floyd’s killing is a serious scandal in itself, but it also represents that individual and systemic prejudices, inequalities, and deprivations in the lives of black Americans historically and daily, communally and individually, and nationally and locally, cannot be denied.