Social Justice


Respect for the dignity of each person and social justice in a diverse world are at the heart of Gwynedd Mercy University’s mission and core values.  We also are eternally guided by the critical concerns of the Sisters of Mercy, which include a focus on racism and non-violence.

As such, our community stands with those peacefully fighting to end racism, building up human dignity, and fostering social justice in our diverse world. Together, we can carry forth our mission through a sustained commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of others.

Statement from the President 

Dear GMercyU Community,  

As a Mercy institution of higher education, we stand with our students and applaud their efforts to raise awareness and stem the tide of social injustice in our society. No one should have to live in constant fear or be subjected to unfair and inequitable treatment. Our Mercy values implore us to respect the dignity of each person, actively seek to end racial discrimination, and embrace nonviolence as we serve others and pursue social justice in a diverse world.  

One of the hallmarks of a community grounded in and sustained by Mercy values is the compassion that we feel for our community members and the support that we extend to those among us who are hurting.  

I encourage everyone in our GMercyU community to stay informed and raise your voice to the injustices that seek to divide us rather than unite us in achieving equal opportunity and treatment for all citizens. In the words of Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, “state your opinion and always act with courage.”  

President Deanne H. D’Emilio

Statement from GMercyU’s Black Student Union

Over the last few days, Black Student Union (BSU) has found it necessary to write an open letter to our school community in regards to the current injustices and our feelings surrounding them.

The purpose of a BSU is to educate the masses on our culture and history. We also strive to highlight the mistreatment of African Americans in this country. Additionally, we pose as a safe haven for minorities to share their experiences and emotions in a positive way during these tough times. This is why groups like ours are especially important.

As students at Gwynedd Mercy University, we are taught to be committed to academic excellence by following the University’s Core Values. Today, we would like to specifically highlight social justice while also taking a stance on the critical concern of racism.

In the last few months, we all have witnessed the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and most recently George Floyd.

Throughout the years, we also have witnessed the death of Botham Jean, Eric Garner, O’Shae Terry, Antwon Rose II, Terence Crutcher, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, etc.

While these events are terribly tragic, we are inclined to note that racial profiling and police brutality have occurred far before cell phone cameras.

This is our reality. Every second of the day we fear our lives will be ended by the injustices of this world.

As African Americans we wish that we could explain this fear that we all share. We wish you could see the terror in our eyes when we drive past police cars. This anxiety that paralyzes us when suspicious eyes follow us in stores. The devastating and unsure goodbyes that we share when one of our family members leaves the house. The tears of defeat when we witness the killings of our people on our streets and on social media.

This crippling fear is unbearable...truly unimaginable for those who are not in our shoes. While some of you may never understand this fear, we are asking you to try.

We are asking that you raise your voice in the injustices that we face every day. To the fear that none of us deserve. Stand up for what is right.

-The Black Student Union

Take Action

Catherine McAuley and the Sisters of Mercy do not treat Mercy merely as an ideal, but as a call to action.  Below, please find some resources and action items from the Sisters of Mercy. Please feel free to heed this call to action, which is core to our Mercy Mission.

The Sisters of Mercy encourage you to consider taking these steps yourself and sharing them with others through social media or whatever way is best for you:

Donate

Make a Sign

  • Put one in your yard or in your window
  • Share a sign with a person on the frontline

Stay Informed

Have Numbers of Local Leaders Ready

  • Mayor/County Executive
  • Public Affairs Officer
  • District Attorney
  • Chief of Police
  • Text
    • FLOYD to 55-156
    • JUSTICE to 66-8336
    • ENOUGH to 55-165

Talk About It

  • Plan a conversation and discuss why #BlackLivesMatter with friends, family and neighbors

Take Time to Reflect and Do the Necessary Inner Work

  • Spiritually reflect
  • Listen to the divine
  • Spend time journaling

Resources