We condemn the heartbreaking continuation of racial injustice. Too many of our brothers and sisters in the Black community, such as George Floyd, have suffered and died in our recent and distant past. Discrimination, abuse and loss of life are unacceptable. This injustice is wrong and must end.

On the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon campus, we live by the core values of the Sisters. One of these values is “Honor the Unique Gifts of Each Person.” We teach and strive to practice this within the congregation, at Valley Catholic School, at Maryville and within all of our support ministries at the SSMO Foundation and SSMO Ministries Corporation. Differences are to be respected and celebrated.

Another core value is to “Live Valiantly.” We live valiantly when we are living our values, when we remain open-minded to learning about ourselves and others, when we actively work on dismantling systemic bias and discrimination,  and when we examine our own hearts and minds to rid ourselves of bias and to truly love one another, as we are called to do by God.

On our campus, we also “Celebrate God and Life.” These are trying days, as we are beset not only with a global health crisis, but also the challenge of truly addressing systemic injustice. We know that we can rely on God’s grace, mercy, wisdom and hope to guide us as we strive to be leaders who make a lasting difference.