On November 15, 2016, the President of the American Library Association issued the following statement:
"After a contentious campaign season filled with divisive rhetoric, we are now hearing from our members and in the news media about incidents of bigotry and harassment within our communities. From children acting out in schools to adults participating in violent acts, it is clear that our nation is struggling in the wake of this election.
"During times like these, our nation’s 120,000 public, academic, school and special libraries are invaluable allies inspiring understanding and community healing. Libraries provide a safe place for individuals of all ages and backgrounds and for difficult discussions on social issues. Our nation’s libraries serve all community members, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the most vulnerable in our communities, offering services and educational resources that transform communities, open minds and promote inclusion and diversity.
"As an association representing these libraries, librarians and library workers, ALA believes that the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to our mission. We will continue to support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility, stand up for all the members of the communities we serve, and promote understanding and inclusion through our work."
As librarians and information professionals at Le Moyne College, and in support of the college's mission to care for the whole person and promote a more just society, we present this collection of resources for resistance.
The Jesuits on Social Justice
In 1975, The Society of Jesus at its 32nd General Congregation declared, “The mission of the Society of Jesus today is the service of faith, of which the promotion of justice is an absolute requirement.”
This belief that the Christian faith demands a commitment to justice. This means confronting the structures of our world that perpetuate poverty and injustice. As the religious order declared at its 32nd General Congregation in 1975:
This mission takes many forms, including works of service, justice, dialogue, and advocacy around the world. And it is not without cost: more than 45 Jesuits have been killed for their work.
Le Moyne College President Le Mura Statement
To the Le Moyne Campus Community,
Since it was issued late last week, President Trump's executive order calling for a travel ban on refugees and immigrants from seven nations has reverberated across the U.S. In Central New York, more than 1,000 people protested the action at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport on Sunday, mirroring similar protests across the country.
The reaction by Catholic Church and Jesuit leadership has also been clear. Pope Francis recently said, "It's hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help..." Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., the interim executive director of Jesuit Refugee Service, similarly stated in an open letter to the president: "Our country’s welcome of these newcomers expresses who we are as a people. It is a sign of our commitment to the rights of refugees to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution." The message is clear - care for the vulnerable is a moral imperative that is grounded in the fabric of our nation and our Christian beliefs.
During these extraordinary times, I want to add my voice to the growing chorus of leaders in education who are speaking out on behalf of their students and our nation. As president of Le Moyne, I too urge our nation to show compassion for all members of humankind, particularly those fleeing the ravages of war, religious persecution, ethnic cleansing, and other dire and life-threatening situations.
Our Jesuit heritage, with its core commitment to the service of faith through the promotion of social justice, directs that we work to protect all members of our human family. Le Moyne's Student Development division is leading a college-wide effort to work with students from the affected countries to ensure they are supported during this time.
Many have asked what they can do in support. Some suggestions: Donate to or volunteer at local agencies such as Catholic Charities and Interfaith Works, which support the resettlement of refugees to Syracuse; donate to the ACLU; and attend campus lectures and programs coordinated by the Muslim Student Association, Multicultural Affairs, and faculty on topics of inclusion.
I hope that you join me in praying for those impacted by this order and for our nation's leaders to use the power of discernment to take the right and just action.
Linda LeMura, Ph.D.
(January 30, 2017)