A Message from the President: Coming Together

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To the Fontbonne community,

Once again our community is challenged to process the ongoing racial strife that seems to be ever present here in St. Louis, but also palpable throughout the country. The Stockley verdict rendered this morning will incite some and perhaps deepen the feelings of frustration, distrust and anger in many. For others there may be a sense of relief and a feeling that justice has been served. No matter our opinion, the reality is that we must now take this moment to process the information and the feelings it engenders and move forward in some meaningful way.

There are values that we hold dear at Fontbonne. We believe that every person is created in the image of likeness of a loving God. We also know that we are incomplete and imperfect. We believe that the University is a safe and sacred place for civil discourse and we would hope that we can address this latest incident in that spirit. We also owe it to our students, their families, faculty and staff to create a safe environment and we will do our very best to do so.

Now is a time for us to come together to share our thoughts and feelings and express our frustrations. Now is the time to pray for healing for all those involved. Now is the time for the Fontbonne community to be a model of civility and understanding.

Below are some events that will help promote this open, honest and respectful dialogue and that encourage us to come together in a spirit of prayer.

For those of you who may be struggling with your own feelings, please reach out to a member of the student affairs staff or trusted mentor. For issues that require professional assistance, please contact the licensed counselors in Student Affairs. If you choose to participate in community gatherings beyond campus, we ask you to be safe.

Only by coming together will we find a path to a peaceful future.

Dr. Pressimone Signature

J. Michael Pressimone, Ed.D.
President

Here is a list of upcoming on-campus opportunities:

  • Pray together: Mass in held in Doer Chapel every Sunday at 7 pm, Wednesday at 11:45 p.m. and Friday at noon.
  • Join a conversation group during a community forum – Peace and Justice Forum: The Stockley Decision – Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 11 a.m. in the Library Lewis Room.
  • Help plan social justice events that celebrates solidarity and unity – Unity Event Part II and Witnessing Whiteness planning committees are convening. Contact Leslie Doyle at ldoyle@fontbonne.edu or Claire Gunn (gunnc@fontbonne.edu) to join either group.

Here are some upcoming off-campus opportunities:

  • Pray together: St. Margaret of Scotland (3854 Flad Ave., 63110) and St. Nicholas (701 N. 18th St., St. Louis 63103) will be open for prayer and conversation the day of or day after the verdict comes out. Please contact Erin Brennan with questions about St. Margaret’s hours at ebrennan@stmargaretstl.org or Fr. Art Cavitt about St. Nicholas at (314) 231-2860 ex. 24.
  • You are also invited to join every Sunday at 7 p.m. on the stairs of St. Francis Xavier (Grand & Lindell) for a peace and justice vigil.
  • Join a small racial justice reading group: Contact Christine Dragonette if interested at christine.dragonette@slu.edu or (314) 977-7309.
  • Engage your children in conversation about race: Click here to learn more about We Stories and consider signing up for January.
  • Plug into local social justice work: Consider connecting with a local group confronting issues affecting people of color. Here’s a list to get you started.

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