An Important Message from the President
Dear BSM Families and Friends,
George Floyd’s memorial service in Minneapolis is tomorrow. Since Mr. Floyd’s murder on May 25, we have been witness to social and moral outrage impacting our students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. The visceral response continues today with people and institutions all over the world confronting individual and systemic racism, and demanding real change.
Over the past several days, members from across the BSM community have reached out asking why a school that preaches social justice would now be quiet on this issue and what, as a school, we intend to do. The feedback has been humbling, sometimes painful, and I apologize for not responding sooner and more fully. Clearly, our society has been steeped in crushing, race-based discrimination for centuries, and schools must be places of progress. Make no mistake, black lives do matter. Our students, families, and alumni of color are valued. Stating this, with intention, is the first step to the truth. There are painful realities that cannot be ignored. Rather, we must redouble our efforts to see better where things are wrong and commit to the hard work of doing right.
Since Sunday, our alumni and students have shared their perspectives on social media, describing leadership that has been slow to respond and fallen short in supporting students of color. The personal messages outlining specific experiences go to my very soul, and have sparked an honest reassessment of what we are doing and what we need to do better. Our school and community must have the courage to challenge our own thinking and dismantle racism wherever we see it.
While we have incorporated student and parent affinity groups, student advocacy, mentorship, curricular redesign, and professional development as a part of our diversity and inclusion efforts, we also must commit to greater partnership and voice. In the coming weeks, I will schedule listening sessions to include students, parents, and alumni. Also, I will create a student advisory group to the office of the president focused on identifying and addressing racism in our school.
Catholic education is about developing and unleashing the potential of each individual to help create a better world and build the Kingdom of God on Earth. In 2016, BSM adopted a simple but powerful scripture theme from Romans 12:9: “Let love be sincere.” This now becomes our challenge, and our blueprint for moving forward.
Adam Ehrmantraut, EdD