Dear Fulcrum Family,
Today’s First Friday Update is brief and focused. It was important to us to make a statement about the recent civil unrest and the ongoing racism that plagues our nation. Thank you for taking the time to read the following and for your ongoing generosity and support of Catholic education.
“People of good conscience must never turn a blind eye when citizens are being deprived of their human dignity and even their lives. Indifference is not an option.”
–U.S. Bishop Chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, May 29, 2020
The horrific death of George Floyd while in police custody left the world reeling. Millions of Americans rose up in grief and anger, once again shaken by such senseless killing. As Catholics, we always reach out with thoughts and prayers, and we are praying for George Floyd and his family, for our black sisters and brothers, for our school families, and for our communities. But beyond praying we are called to act. When we see the black community suffering again and again and again, for no other reason than the color of their skin, we must speak out that it is unacceptable and do more. We cannot remain silent.
We must do more.
In a statement addressing George Floyd’s death, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of the Archdiocese of Seattle said, “The senseless taking of life defies the fundamental principles of justice, every notion of dignity and the fact that all of our lives are connected. As human beings, we are responsible for each other … As Catholics, we are called to the same standards of behavior. We cannot stand by and not respond to incidents of racism and inhuman treatment of our black brothers and sisters, or anyone else.”
We must take a stand.
Since our founding 18 years ago, Fulcrum has steadfastly committed to the importance of Catholic education and has worked hard to provide access to high-quality education for all who desire it, no matter their race or creed. But education needs to begin with leaders and adults who work with students and families so that they can serve with the gospel values of love and justice. In turn, our students will go out and serve others and make this world a better place for all.
Fulcrum will continue to support and fund diversity and inclusion initiatives in our Catholic schools to ensure that students and adults alike are consistently exposed to the importance of equity, justice, love, and respect for all. Fulcrum will also ensure our own staff and board have opportunities to participate in anti-bias training. There are no easy answers or immediate fixes and there will always be more to do. But we are committed to being proactive in the pursuit of a real, lasting change
We firmly believe in the dignity of human life and the equality of all human beings. All people fundamentally deserve love and respect. Fulcrum does not tolerate racism, and we seek justice and healing for the black community. We stand in solidarity with the peaceful protesters across our nation, fighting for change, for a future where black people can live without fear.
We must actively do more to build a better future, as Christ expects of us. We must be men, women, and children who fight for equity and justice. We must be people who refuse to give up hope, who use the love we have for our brothers and sisters to forge a world that lives up to the example set by Jesus and our Catholic teachings.
We must persevere.
Vivian K. Shannon, Executive Director, and Tony Audino, Board Chair
“Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.” –Romans 12:9