Honoring George Floyd Through Progress and Action

May 25, 2021

Dear LMU Community, 

Today we join citizens across the globe in honoring the memory of George Floyd and in praying for his family. We also honor every life taken tragically through violence and systemic racism, and we pray for the generations of Black families who have suffered the damaging legacy of slavery, discrimination, and unjust exclusion. We reaffirm our commitment to continue to transform our culture so that there may be a day when racism no longer plagues our society.  

This has been a year of heart-wrenching acts of violence against communities of color, with untold trauma and loss. This has also been a year of unprecedented action and purposeful change. I thank the Black community at LMU for your sacrifices, patience, and leadership. I am indebted to you, to the Latinx, and to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities for your willingness to impart experiences, sharing pain and grief, desires, time, and energy during one of the most challenging years of our lives. 

The changes underway at LMU—the conversations, the systemic analysis, the community-wide investment, and our initial progress—are only the first steps. My gratitude abounds to the LMU community for helping lay a foundation on which we will build through our Strategic Plan and Anti-Racism Project. Our collaboration is crucial to realizing our goals and supporting the essential work we have accomplished and will continue to accomplish together. I am grateful for the high level of ownership and DEI engagement from units across LMU, and we will continue to seek your partnership as we recruit our next executive leader for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In approaching this search process, I recently sought advice on the question of whether the “Office of Intercultural Affairs” remained appropriate nomenclature for our time. After consulting with VP Jennifer Abe, senior leaders, board members, and constituency groups, I have decided that LMU will rename the Office of Intercultural Affairs the “Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” and will advertise for the position of vice president for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our upcoming search. This aligns with language from the commitment in our strategic plan and provides a more contemporary and comprehensive description of the role and office. I am pleased to share that José Badenes, S.J., associate provost for Undergraduate Education and professor of Spanish, will serve as chair of the search committee. The other members of the search committee are named below.

We will continue to address systemic racism and oppression with the goal of institutional transformation. Our commitments are neither performative nor partisan—this is who we are and must be. Our Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount identity and university mission impel us to be persons for and with others, acting out our faith in seeking justice for all. 

Thank you for working with persistence and determination to fight against hate and injustice to assure that LMU is proactively anti-racist. You continue to shape our future as we create the world we want to live in—a world where Black lives always matter.

In solidarity and strength,

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.

Search Committee Members

José Badenes, S.J., Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Professor of Spanish (Committee Chair)

Hon. Irma Brown, Board of Trustees Member and Trustee Liaison for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Rebecca Chandler, Vice President for Human Resources (ex officio)

Ernesto Colín, Associate Professor of Specialized Programs in Urban Education, LMU School of Education

Robbin Crabtree, Dean and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

Kathleen Kim, Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Professor of Law, LMU Loyola Law School

Leonardo Mendoza, Graduate/Professional Student Representative, LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

Alyssa Perez, Assistant Director for Alternative Breaks, Center for Service and Action

John Sebastian, Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Charles Swanson, Professor of Film and Television Production, LMU School of Film and Television

Alexa Walls, Undergraduate Student Representative, LMU College of Communication and Fine Arts

Robbie Williams, Chief of Public Safety

Mike Wong, Vice President for Campus Operations