Dear Rutgers University – Newark community members,
Across our multi-faith community, we have been shaken by the violence in Sri Lanka this weekend, in which hundreds lost their lives and hundreds more were injured in attacks targeting Christians as they celebrated Easter, as well as hotels guests visiting the region. In the wake of religiously based attacks in other parts of the world over the past few months, as well as the recent burning of African American churches in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, we are deeply pained by these visceral reminders that violent hatred heeds no boundaries. Our hearts go out to all who are connected to the victims, their families, or their communities.
It can be confounding to face the challenges of forging bonds of solidarity across difference when so many in our world seek to do exactly the opposite and exploit difference to drive us apart. At times like this, we can find inspiration in the words of our 2017 commencement speaker Eboo Patel, who wrote in his book, Acts of Faith, “I thought about the meaning of pluralism in a world where the forces that seek to divide us are strong. I came to one conclusion: We have to save each other. It’s the only way to save ourselves.”
As we approach the close of the academic year and commencement, let us carry that commitment with us, whether we are returning to Rutgers-Newark or preparing to bring the seeds of the extraordinary Rutgers-Newark experience to new places near or far.
Ever in solidarity,