President's Statement, June 1, 2020 | University of Portland

President's Statement, June 1, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As a University that is guided by Catholic social teaching and belief in the dignity of each person, we have been deeply disturbed by the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We share in the pain that so many Americans are experiencing as we try to heal and assimilate what has happened and is happening once again in our country. These recent tragic deaths and subsequent responses taking place throughout the country demonstrate the pernicious legacy of institutional racism and the importance and need to stand up peacefully against such injustices. Like all other institutions of higher education, UP has an opportunity and an obligation to deploy our scholarship, research, and service to combating racism and advancing the causes of justice, compassion, and equity.

As UP’s President, Provost, Incoming Provost, and Assistant Provost for International Education, Diversity, and Inclusion, we decry institutional racism at every level; we commit to listening humbly to the voices of those who suffer individual and collective trauma; and we offer opportunities for all members of the campus community to reflect and seek solutions. The following events are currently available for prayer, reflection, and community building.

  • The Office of Campus Ministry and the Moreau Center for Service & Justice hosted a prayer vigil, Monday, June 1.
  • The Office of International Education, Diversity, and Inclusion held a Community Town Hall, Wednesday, June 3.

Although we are dismayed by recent events, we know the Pilot Community cares greatly about one another and the world. We are privileged to be at such a special place and we aim to work together as a community in prayer and in action to counterbalance hatred and promote peace and human flourishing.

Yours together,

Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., Ph.D., President
Thomas G. Greene, Ed.D., Provost
Herbert A. Medina, Ph.D., Incoming Provost (Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences)
Eduardo R. Contreras, Ed.D., Assistant Provost for International Education, Diversity


Posted June 6, 2020