In light of increased violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and recent murders in Atlanta and across the country, Georgetown came together last week to denounce hate crimes against AAPI and women. In a demonstration of solidarity with the AAPI community and others impacted by this hatred, and an affirmation of the university’s commitment to religious diversity, Campus Ministry hosted an interfaith service to pray for healing and for justice. You can watch a recording of the service here on the University’s Facebook page.
In addition to honoring the loss of innocent life, religious leaders summoned the Georgetown community to rise to the challenge of eradicating hatred and dismantling systems of racism that pervade our society: Rabbi Rachel Gartner, director of Jewish Life, invited us to have courage to speak truth to power–fueled by a righteous anger against hatred that is grounded in justice, not revenge; Umbreen Akram, Muslim residential minister in Henle Village, prayed for the empowerment of women and the rooting out of xenophobia; Rev. Ebony Grisom, interim director of Protestant Christian Ministry, asked us to repent our culture’s allegiance to toxic masculinity and white supremacy; Ven. Yisah Qian, Buddhist residential minister in Copley Hall, implored the community to see the interconnection of all beings and to experience an awakening in compassion; Sr. Thu Do, Roman Catholic residential minister in Village A, called on us to be prophets of reconciliation and peace who build up our communities in love; and Fr. Greg Schenden, director of campus ministry, appealed to our Jesuit principles and our Ignatian spirit in responding to the cries for justice.
The prayer service was a powerful reminder of the strength of our community in diversity, a commitment at the heart of the Spirit of Georgetown. I invite you to experience the service for yourself and take to greater prayer and reflection on how we might work together to dismantle the structures of violence in our communities.