During June we celebrate Pride Month and the accomplishments of our LGBTQ+ students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. Over 50 years ago in New York City, what became known as the Stonewall Uprising served as a tipping point for LGBTQ+ rights. On June 28, 1969, police officers entered the Stonewall Inn, on Christopher Street, and arrested 13 people. Like many establishments serving LGBTQ+ and gender inclusive patrons, Stonewall was a frequent target of raids, as laws at the time criminalized LGBTQ+ people from living openly and gender norms were enforced by police. A crowd gathered outside in protest and a six day uprising commenced, sparking a new period of social change. The world’s first Pride event, dubbed Christopher Street Liberation Day, took place one year later in New York. Today, Pride is celebrated around the country throughout the month of June, with events drawing millions of people.
As members of a Jesuit college, we are called to seek inclusion and stand with those whose dignity has been violated in a journey of reconciliation and justice. While much progress has been made, particularly within the past two decades, threats to hard won rights persist. “Each new generation must take up the struggles and attainments of past generations, while setting its sights even higher. This is the path,” said Pope Francis during a 2018 address in Chile. “Goodness, together with love, justice and solidarity, are not achieved once and for all; they have to be realized each day.” In his book titled Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity, James J. Martin, S.J. reminds us that “Jesus’s movement was about inclusion. He was creating a sense of ‘us.’ ”
As a community, we promote inclusion by welcoming and embracing the talents, perspectives and creativity of every member of our collective body. In March, our Diversity Central Series presented Leading for Social Justice: LGBTQ and Mental Health Expert Panel, which tackled the experience of coming out and what it means to lead for social justice within our healthcare system, schools and community as a whole, and in April, Queerness, Gender, Race and Privilege: Challenges in Health Professions and Nursing explored the ways in which power, norms and othering work in concert to reinforce health inequities and oppression. Expanded student services at Le Moyne include Career Advising and Development’s Identity-Based Resources, and LGBTQIA+ counseling support provided by the Wellness Center. In early May, Lavender Graduation honored LGBTQIA graduating dolphins, in partnership with Le Moyne's Gender and Women Studies Program and Prism, a student organization. To cap the academic year, we awarded an honorary degree to journalist and TV personality Jonathan Capehart, who spoke passionately during commencement about promoting a respectful culture of dialogue and his journey as an African-American, openly gay, married man.
We are grateful to the many faculty, staff, students and members of the board of trustees who have and continue to make these efforts possible, and who exemplify our dedication to cura personalis and the wider mission of promoting justice and inclusion in our society.
Linda M. LeMura, Ph.D., President
Jim Hannan, Ph.D., Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charles Oduke, Ph.D., Vice President for Mission Integration and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion