Statement to the Gonzaga Community: June 1, 2020

Dear Gonzaga School Community:

I write to you in deep sadness about the state of our country. In the evenings these last few days, the sound of sirens in the streets and helicopters over Eye Street is a painful reminder of just how much we still need to do as a nation to confront our own racism, injustice, and discrimination.

The tragic reality is that the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer is not an isolated incident. Rather, it is just one manifestation of an all-too-common occurrence, and therefore a call to all of us to do our part to combat racism, prejudice, and inequality. The Gonzaga Community must stand in solidarity with our African-American students, families, alumni, and friends. As a Gonzaga school community, people who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, these incidents should be a source of outrage for all of us.

As a Christian community dedicated to the belief that all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, we must have the courage to look fearlessly into our own hearts and minds and ask God to touch and heal those areas where we still need to grow in understanding and compassion. There is still so much more we need to do even in our own Gonzaga community. We are not a living example of the Kingdom of God until all women, men, teenagers, and children are able to live without fear, prejudice, and discrimination. Sadly, we still have a long way to go.

During these days as tensions flare, let us pray for the grace of change—change in our communities, change in our families, and change in our hearts.

One of our sophomores wrote a poem this past Friday to express his own feelings during this most difficult time. I ask that you read it. I pray that it may plant a seed of change that will take root in all of our hearts as together we seek a more just future for all.

Fr. Stephen W. Planning, S.J.
Prayer for Change
By: Richard Scott ‘23

I pray for healing in Ferguson
I pray for healing in Minneapolis
I pray for healing in New York
I pray for healing in Baltimore

I pray that we will continue to run for Ahmaud
I pray that we will blast our music for Jordan
I pray that we will continue to kneel with Kap
I pray that the police stop killing us

I pray that 911 is a beacon of safety, not death
I pray the next time my hands are raised it’s in a classroom
I pray that the voices of the unheard are amplified
I pray that the color of my skin won’t get me killed

I pray that Martin’s dream doesn’t become a nightmare
I pray that Rosa’s bravery isn’t blinded by cowards
I pray that Maya’s words are never erased
I pray for change

Educating young men in the Jesuit tradition since 1821