A Message From President Marylou Yam On Recent Racial Violence

The following message from Dr. Yam was sent to the Notre Dame of Maryland University community on Thursday, June 11, 2020.

I am reaching out again this week as the family of George Floyd and a global community of mourners laid Mr. Floyd to rest. His killing is yet another atrocity where a member of the Black community was a victim of violence and injustice.

To be targeted because of your race, is wrong. To be abused, profiled and victimized by brutal violence based on your race, is wrong. Notre Dame of Maryland University denounces racial violence. It is our responsibility to stand up and call out hate and violence when we see it. It is our responsibility, in unity, to intentionally support members of the Black community and work together to address racial injustices.

For those of you in our community and beyond who have been a victim, who have been targeted or who have felt hatred based on the color of your skin, please know I support you and the University supports you. For those who have used your power to influence change and support people of color, keep doing it. The work for change belongs to all of us and we must continue to reflect internally and advocate externally day after day, week after week, to see change fulfilled.

We believe, as an institution of higher education, that learning and education is the path to change. The University’s mission of building inclusive communities is foundational work for all of us. Education, dialogue, engagement and influence are ways in which our University works toward promoting inclusion, diversity and ending racism.

Among the University’s ongoing efforts, most recently members of our community came together in a safe space for a healing circle. Our art therapy program hosted an event where making art became a channel for frustration and expression. Our athletics department is holding an open forum for our student-athletes to have a place to be heard and later this month the criminology department is holding a discussion on Just Mercy, a memoir and movie focused on equal justice. Diversity and inclusion are priority focus areas of our University’s new strategic plan. I will be reaching out to students, faculty and staff to discuss how NDMU can build on the ways our community works together to end racial injustice and violence.

It is very important for us to continue this work as a community and in-keeping with our University’s faithful foundation, we rely on prayer and togetherness as we forge forward on this path.

Please join the NDMU Community this Friday, June 12th at 3:00 p.m. for an Interfaith Prayer Service. We are going to hear from University representatives and most importantly we are going to hear from our students. We must stand together and I hope you can join us. 

Marylou Yam
Notre Dame of Maryland University


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