Sunday, May 31, 2020
Dear DePaul Prep Community and Friends:
Our nation and our beloved City are gripped by outrage at recent events of racism, violence and injustice. As a diverse school and a community of faith, DePaul College Prep educates young people to use their intellects and their talents to their best ability. As a Vincentian institution, we teach that it is our duty to better the lives of those who live on the margins of society. Never is that more important than this moment in our history.
As people of faith we know that it is our duty to peacefully speak out against the circumstances that led to the tragic death of George Floyd. Our Vincentian question: What Must Be Done? compels us to do more than speak. It compels us to act. It compels us to work everyday for systemic change to bring us together in peace, dialogue and respect. It compels us to oppose racism in all its forms. It compels us to work for justice and equity. It compels us to respect the rule of law.
Our shared humanity also compels us to practice what we teach. DePaul Prep will continue to teach and to show our students how to lead us and our society forward with justice. We will continue to teach that racism has no place in our society. We will continue to teach and exercise tolerance, understanding and acceptance. Our Vision Statement proclaims that we strive to create an educated, compassionate, and just world one student at a time. We will begin by being present to each other and living in solidarity with those whose lives and livelihoods are in peril. And as a school we are renewed in our energies to create more opportunities for our students to use their intellects and their talents to promote equity, justice and compassion.
As people of Chicago we stand with our Mayor who champions our right to peacefully protest and urges us to join her to work against racial and economic injustice. Like her, however, we are appalled by the devolution of that message into chaos on our streets. The violence directed against our police officers, our first responders and the foundations of our City strike at our core. As we are about to arise from months of isolation caused by the coronavirus, we are faced with the lawless destruction caused by looters. Their actions strike at the heart of our City. Their actions are not peaceful protests working toward social justice. Their actions are opportunistic thievery and they make a mockery of our outrage over the death of George Floyd.
And yet, despite these acts of senseless destruction, our neighbors have already begun to pitch in to help clean up the glass and destruction in the Loop and River North. We take this as a glimmer of hope and recognition that the true heart of Chicago is good. As Mayor Lightfoot said this morning, “We have to turn our pain into purpose to get through this together.” And so we will begin this work as well.
Today is Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, comes in the form of wind, fire and breath, bringing about conversion of heart and clarity of mission. An especially appropriate message at this time. We cannot do the hard work ahead without opening our minds to the message of Pentecost.
If you or your students want to talk about the painful events of this week, we are here for you. Please contact our Counselors or us if you feel we can help you through this difficult time. In the days ahead, we will be formulating how DePaul Prep will redouble our efforts and join those who work for peace and justice and who respect the rule of law in Chicago.
In the meantime, we pray for you and for your families. And we ask you to join us in praying and working for peace, justice and understanding for all people. We stand together as a community committed to making positive and impactful change through the power of Catholic education.
Together, we can create a more just world.
Mary A. Dempsey, President
Dr. Megan Stanton-Anderson, Principal