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A Message from the President about Recent Acts of Racist Violence

Dear Holy Names Community,

I write to you this morning to acknowledge and address the profound pain and anger our community is experiencing in response to repeated acts of racist violence in our country. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery in recent months weigh on my mind, as do the corresponding calls for justice that have escalated this weekend.

This moment has again called us to address the conditions that have made it tragically common for the black community to feel unsafe and to lose their loved ones to racial violence. Moments like these amplify our responsibility as a university rooted in social justice. We must lead boldly with love and with compassion to model and create the world we want. We must condemn injustice toward communities of color while doing the work to identify our unconscious contributions to it. We can and we must do more.

I realize that meaningful, sustainable change of this kind can be slow, but that should not deter us in developing action. Our community has a moral responsibility to play a role in achieving a more equitable society, a society free of the deeply rooted oppression that is tearing it apart.

I have written this in previous messages, and I will reiterate it today. There is no room in our world for hatred. There is no room for lack of appreciation of our common humanity. It is our duty as a community to take action and to foster dialogue around these profound and vitally important issues, issues I know are important to you: our students, faculty and staff. I am here to listen and to do my part to cultivate more conversation, connection, and action. Let us direct our energy toward meaningful change. While no small act alone can change the world, collectively those who care deeply can.


Mike Groener

President, Holy Names University