Wildes condemns Charlottesville attacks

Erin Snodgrass

On Tuesday afternoon, the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., sent out an email to the Loyola community condemning the violent attacks by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville over the weekend.

“Our community is pained and saddened by the tragic loss of life and hate-inspired violence, and we extend our deepest condolences to the families of those affected,” Wildes said.

He went on to criticize all forms of hate speech, racism, intolerance and injustice, saying they directly clashed with the mission of Loyola and Jesuit education. Wildes emphasized Loyola’s devotion to celebrating diversity, saying it strengthens the university and community.

“Our university mission says that we welcome students of diverse backgrounds and ‘prepare them to lead meaningful lives with and for others; to pursue truth, wisdom, and virtue; and to work for a more just world,’” Wildes said in the email.

He urged the Loyola community to work toward justice and to actively stand up against intolerance and hate. Wildes noted the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as a support system existing to help students and staff learn and grow.

“On August 1, we welcomed Sybol Cook Anderson, our new chief diversity officer. Under her leadership, 40 staff, faculty, administrators, and students participated last week in three days of Crossroads anti-racism training, devising strategies for institutional transformation,” Wildes said.

Wildes closed by encouraging inclusion, as well as open conversations about the challenging subject matter, even when it proves difficult.

“We must choose not to remain silent in the face of struggle but to reject all forms of hatred and bigotry,” Wildes said.