Apology to the St. Francis Community
This past week, an SF social media post sparked an outpouring of anger, pain and sadness about the way students of color have experienced and continue to experience our campus community. In reading these comments, the many emails, and hearing the stories shared on our first Zoom call, I know that so many of you are suffering — and not just recently — but for a very long time. And to hear that your experiences at SF have contributed to that pain is deeply painful and shameful.
I am truly sorry. I’m sorry for the times you were unseen and unheard. I’m sorry that you were silenced. I am sorry for all the times that you were excluded. I am sorry that your personhood and cultural background was not honored and celebrated. There is so much more work to be done. And now is the time to listen and learn so we can make a collaborative change for our community.
Last Thursday our faculty and staff participated in a two hour zoom call to share their thoughts on all the feedback from our community. I was moved by how they heard the stories of our students and alumnae, felt your pain and disappointment, and how they reflected upon and apologized for hurts they have caused our students, past and present. They are committed to change. We are all committed to change.
We are a faith community made up of imperfect people who want to do better and be better. In fact, our faith demands us to! It is clear to me that while there is much pain, there is also a high regard for this school that educates and empowers women to be confident, use their voices and do important things to change our world. This requires hard work but we are here together and are committed to creating a campus community where students of color feel safe and supported. Thank you for those who shared your stories. Thank you for being part of this faith community as we strive to be Christ’s light to our world.