Racial Justice is Social Justice (RJSJ) is an organization made up of Fairfield University students, alumni, faculty and staff. In response to heightened racial violence around the murder of George Floyd and others of the Black community, RJSJ composed a statement which they shared with The Mirror. They have also been collecting signatures from across the Fairfield University community, including students, alumni, faculty, staff and administrators. RJSJ wants to share this statement with our university community to continue their pledge to work towards racial justice on campus. 

“To the Community of Fairfield University:

“‘Racial Justice is Social Justice’ (RJSJ) is a grassroots collective of students, alumni, staff and faculty of Fairfield University that was formed in Fall 2014. We are united in a commitment to anti-racist community building both within and beyond the walls of our campus. Our commitment is derived from the Jesuit values that support the “promotion of justice” in building a racially just institution of higher learning. 

Along with everyone else in the nation and the world, we watched on video the slow, calloused and depraved killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 by police officers whose obligation it was to protect Mr. Floyd. Instead, they used wanton violence to end his life. Mr. Floyd’s murder closely follows the murder of Ahmaud Aubery and Breonna Taylor, both victims of similar acts of racialized violence. For many of us, these acts of racialized violence are all too familiar. 

RJSJ, along with its people of color (POC) and non-POC allies, acknowledges the sadness, frustration, pain and – perhaps more than all else – outrage of this particular moment. For many of us, these acts also recall the kinds of racialized metrics, microaggressions and culture that make our own university campus an unsafe and unwelcoming place for people of color. 

We recognize the frustration and anger of many in our community who urge us to see that our university has not yet fulfilled its mission to forge a racially just institution. As a collective, we write to legitimize these sentiments, and to clear space for us to sit in them, together and in solidarity. In particular, we legitimize the anger we feel in a world that persistently puts the value of black life up for referendum and debate. We write to legitimize the anger we feel in a world that normalizes the anti-Black violence that robbed us of George Floyd, and that continues to shape how we learn, teach and live together at Fairfield University. 

As a collective, RJSJ recognizes the productive value of this anger and outrage. It means that, as a community, we have not succumbed to apathy. It means that we are still alive in Dr. King’s hope for the Beloved Community, and share his belief that “the time is always right to do what is right.” It also means that we ardently refuse to shirk our responsibility to do the anti-racist work to which we are all called as members of this community. We pledge our commitment to keep that anger close, lest we forget precisely what is at stake in this work ahead – the valuing and sanctity of Black Lives. 

It is the hope of RJSJ that all of our university community joins us, particularly those at the level of senior administration. We must leverage every bit of our institutional capacities to work seriously and earnestly toward a campus environment that is not only inclusive to all, but that prioritizes anti-racist work at all levels of the university’s organizational structure. This work must be grounded in the Jesuit tradition of ‘common concern for others’ and in racial justice.”

In solidarity,

RJSJ, Allies and Anonymous Staff

Kris F. Sealey, Ph.D.

Maggie A. Labinski, Ph.D.  

Stephaney S Morrison, Ph.D.

Jennifer Adair, Ph.D.

Grace Farrell, RN

Elizabeth Hohl

Michael Harding 

Melissa Quan

Erica Hartwell

Sonya Huber

Laura Field

Peter L. Bayers, Ph.D.

John Slotemaker, Ph.D.

Bob Hannafin

Jennifer Ewald

Mariann Regan, Emeritus Professor of English

Richard Regan, Emeritus Faculty, English

Allanah Dykes

Philip Eliasoph

Adam Rugg 

Matt P. Coleman

Martin Nguyen

Richard Greenwald, Ph.D.

Cathleen M. Borgman

Jessica Alicea Planas, RN, PhD 

Kimberly M. Barba

Uma Balaji

Milo W. Peck, Jr.

Bryan Ripley Crandall, Ph.D.

Jillian Smith-Carpenter, Ph. D.

Jason A. Smith

John R. Miecznikowski, Ph.D.

Suzanne Chamlin-Richer

Anderson Weekes, Ph.D.

Rona Preli

Paul Caster, Ph.D.

Alison Kris, Ph.D. 

Martha S. LoMonaco, Ph.D.

John E. Thiel

Scott M. Lacy

Matt Tullis

Mousumi Bose Godbole

Emily R. Shamash, Ed.D.

Lynne Porter

Laura R. Nash, PhD

Laura McSweeney

Christopher Casement, Ph.D.

Sunil Purushotham

Chris Staecker

Shannon Kelley

Amanda Harper-Leatherman, Ph.D.

Catherine Giapponi

Chris Huntley

Susan Rakowitz

Ryan Colwell

Aaron Van Dyke

Deborah List 

Jay Taylor 

Janie Leatherman

Irene Mulvey

Nancy A. Dallavalle

Philip J. Lane

Dina Franceschi

Ashley Byun

Gabriella DiGioia

Anita AFernandez

Maggie Wills

Jenna LoGiudice

Navin S. Maswood 

James Biardi 

Christine Ross Earls

Rose P. Rodrigues

Erica Wuchiski

Johanna Garvey

Marice Rose

Kim Oliver, PhD

Scott M. Brenner, CPA, MBA

Katy Phillips

Gwendoline Alphonso, PhD, JSD

Danke Li, Ph.D.

Christopher J. DiBiase, PhD

Maryann LaBella 

Jocelyn Novella

Meryl O’Connor

William M. Abbott

Niall Brennan

Emily Orlando

Lauren S. Gaskill, PhD

Elizabeth H. Boquet

Silvia Marsans-Sakly

Jennifer Schindler-Ruwisch

Camelia Micu

Alfred Babo

Laura Gasca Jimenez

Iman Naderi

Paul Lakeland

Dave Crawford

Jocelyn Boryczka

Geoffrey Church

Carl Scheraga

Margaret McClure, Ph.D.

Anne Campbell

Shannon Gerry

Kathleen Byrnes

Marc Alibrandi

Elizabeth Petrino

Jiwei Xiao

Steven LeMay

Patrick Lee

Catherine Andersen

Meredith Kazer 

Kathi Mettler

Joan Lee

Sara Diaz

Kathleen Lovanio  

Kathryn Nantz

Joan Weiss

Sean Horan 

Sara Brill

Michelle Leigh Farrell

Claudia Calhoun

Harvey Hoffman

Gavriel Rosenfeld 

Ryan Drake

Dennis Keenan

Glenn Sauer

Matthew Kubasik

Navin S. Maswood,  Ph.D. 

Shannon Harding, Ph.D.

Jill Bodach 

Katherine Saracino

Nels Pearson

Michael Sciandra

Mark Ligas

Nicole Fletcher

Susan Bartos

Annemarie Iddins

Tanika Eaves Simpson

Betsy A. Bowen

Michael R. Andreychik

Mehmet Cansoy

Mousumi Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Anna-Maria Aksan

Murray Patterson

Angela Biselli

Lydia Willsky-Ciollo

Isaac Macwan, Ph.D.

Cecelia Bucki

Gary Weddle

Robert Nazarian

Jessica Castillo

Stephanie Storms

Jerelyn Johnson 

Christina McGowan

Christa Palancia Esposito, DNP, MSN, CNM

Brian Torff

Shawn Rafalski

Terri Germain-Williams, PhD

Olivia Harriott-Sims

Jie Tao

Joyce Shea

Kamala C. Kiem

Patricia Behre, Ph.D.

Karen Corcoran

Sebastián Pérez, Ph.D.

Christine Siegel 

Gayle Alberda, Ph.D.

Adam Howe, Ph.D.

Sallyanne Ryan

Carol Ann Davis

Sergio Adrada Rafael

Bob Epstein

Judy Primavera

Katsiaryna Bardos

Rachelle J. Brunn-Bevel

Kevin C Molloy

Janet Striuli 

Shannon King

Benjamin Fine Ph.D.

Robert Cordery

Zhan Li

Lucrecia García Iommi, PhD

Paul Baginski, Ph.D.

Jay Rozgonyi

Vincent Madera

Tracey Robert

Harsha Sundarram

Joshua Elliott

Will Johnson

Brian G Walker

Katherine Schwab

L. Kraig Steffen

Tommy Xie

Kathleen A. Tomlin, Ph.D. 

Nicole O’Brien

Ellen M. Umansky

Emily Smith

Jo Ann Drusbosky 

Linda Henkel

Julie Mughal

William F. Vasquez Mazariegos

Steven M. Bayne

Rob Hardy

Hedieh Shadmani

Susan Freudzon

Jodie Fitzpatrick

David W. McFadden

Kim Doughty

Audrey Beauvais 

Gina Petersen

Kristen Zimmerman

Suzanne Chaplik

Kara Hunter

Walter Rankin

Lindy Briggette

Nadia Francine Zamin

Ayanna Eastman

Richard H. Heist, Ph.D.

Karen Burrows

Dawn DeBiase

Nazli Sila Alan, PhD

Alyson Martin

Mark Demers

Jessica M. Karanian

Toby Svoboda

Tiffany Wilgar, Ph.D.

Covadonga Arango-Martin

Sally O’Driscoll

Norm Solomon

Michael Pagano

Clarence Hardy

Marcie J Patton

Jeff Moretz

Gabriella Lester

Lenka Biardi

Sierra Bell

Wen Zhao

Joshua Neitlich

Tom Murray

About The Author

-- Senior - Communications --

Catherine is from Pelham, New Hampshire. She loves to write, hang out with friends, watch movies, and is a big Boston Bruins fan.

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