Friday Week: June 5

Grotto 1600
Over 1,000 participated in Monday’s “Prayer for Unity, Walk for Justice,” beginning at Hesburgh Library and ending about an hour later at the Grotto. (Photo: Matt Cashore, University of Notre Dame)

by Paul J. Browne

“We Need an Outcry”

For months the impenetrable reality was the coronavirus.  It dominated the news, the way people lived and died, and expectations for the future.  Then George Floyd was killed and attention turned to a tragedy far older than COVID-19. 

Organized by the Office of the President and by Campus Ministry, the “Prayer for Unity, Walk for Justice” began at Hesburgh Library Monday evening and ended about an hour later at the Grotto.

In remarks to more than 1,000 attendees on campus and many more online, Father Jenkins remembered tragedies of the past, including the deaths of Emmett Till, Medgar Evers, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as those of more recent times, from Eric Garner to Breonna Taylor to the congregants of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. 

“We gather tonight not just to reflect on police violence against a single man in Minneapolis,” Father Jenkins said, “but on a legacy of violence, often conducted with impunity, against black men in our nation. We confront the heavy burden of a legacy of racism.”  Full story here.

Hope at Risk

In a prescient article for Notre Dame Magazine almost four years ago, Anthony Walton '82 comes to terms with how the Obama presidency did not close the book on racism.

“[T]he story that ends with Obama also has an epilogue that might be the painful introduction of another tale.  This account will relate the bitter knowledge that the 400 years of struggle and aspiration was not enough, that the nation is still susceptible to strands of violent emotion and vulgar irrationality, and that too many citizens are still mindlessly stoking fires of social conflict and disarray in a fashion that could flare beyond society’s ability to control or extinguish them.” Full story here.

“We have a duty…”

Chief Keri Kei Shibata, Deputy Chief Police Services Stephan Smith and Deputy Chief Safety Services Keith Kopinski of the Notre Dame Police Department wrote to every member of the department to remind them that they have a “duty to act when we witness oppression and injustice…”

 “We, as members of the Notre Dame Police Department, must stand together in the wake of injustices that have been plaguing our nation and our communities.  We must not allow the seeds of discord and racial intolerance to take root in our department or in our lives.

“We have a calling that is much higher than ourselves and much higher than that of human decency.  We have a calling to act. To act with integrity, with compassion, with empathy, and with kindness.

“We have a duty to act when we witness oppression and injustice are taking place, even if it means confronting our colleagues or our administrators.”  Full letter here.

Pandemic’s Literature and Film

“Even as we remain physically confined and isolated, the liberal arts are essential to opening our minds to worlds past, present, and future," said Sarah Mustillo, the I.A. O'Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

“Literature and film — and engaging in conversation about them with others — are sustaining and revitalizing forces, especially in challenging circumstances.  As an esteemed literary studies and linguistics scholar, Barry McCrea is the ideal person to form a community that will help us better understand the times in which we live.”  Full story here.

Many hands (many masks) …

To address multiple challenges, teams in Student Affairs created solutions that kept the health and safety of the entire Notre Dame family at the forefront.  They knew that directing the move-out of thousands of students while maintaining social distancing and following necessary safety protocols would require the help of hundreds of staff to step up and volunteer.  Full story here.

Toward a Better Mask

Not long after the coronavirus pandemic began impacting the nation, hospitals and other health services began running into shortages of personal protective equipment such as face masks.  Typical masks can help prevent the transmission of disease but have a one-time use.  Researchers at Notre Dame are working to develop a new fabric for antimicrobial masks that could potentially be reusable.  Full story here.

Fore!

Site of the 2019 U.S. Senior Open, the Ben Crenshaw/Bill Coore-designed Warren Golf Course closed when the University suspended in-person classes and shuttered all but essential services in mid-March.  Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb’s statewide orders two months ago allowed for golf courses to remain open.  The now open Warren features a wide array of safety policies based upon advice from health experts and best practices within the golf industry.  Full story here.

 

Paul J. Browne is the vice president for public affairs and communications