Let us ask for justice, for an end to the legacy of racism, for an end to violence in our streets and in our hearts and for the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it. – University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
We have failed. The path forward must begin with an acknowledgement of our failings and a commitment to change. – University Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick
Notre Dame Athletics is not here to suggest that we can solve the problems that plague our nation. But we do firmly believe that we can both create change locally and be a catalyst for change nationally. We do not have the answer as to how we will have that impact but that is as it must be because our path forward needs to be shaped by all of us as we STAND TOGETHER.
Our commitment then is to enable your efforts and we will begin to do that in each of the following ways:
LISTEN: In order to better empower our student-athletes, we will listen more carefully and thoughtfully to the issues they raise, the insights they offer, the solutions they propose, and the emotions they experience. And in furtherance of that commitment, we will create additional forums for engagement.
AMPLIFY: We will amplify the voices of our student-athletes. We had already redefined the mission of Fighting Irish Media to focus on this mission, but the current crisis provides a compelling opportunity to accelerate our efforts.
FOCUS: Just as our Student-Athlete Advisory Council did such an effective job during the past school year in drawing attention to the mental health challenges of our students, we are asking our student-athletes to help us make issues relating to social justice our focus during the coming academic year.
DIVERSIFY: We will build a more diverse professional staff and better educate our current staff in order to more effectively serve all of our student-athletes.
ENGAGE: We will increase and improve the quality of our engagement with all segments of the communities that surround our university. We recognize the positive impact that many of the efforts in which our student-athletes are already involved have produced, but if we are to maximize our reach and our impact, we need to take a more centralized and sustained approach.
VOTE: In this, a national election year that will play such an important role in defining the future direction of the country, we will make voter education and participation a priority for students and staff.
While each of the foregoing represent a firm commitment, they are also only a starting point for our efforts. The way forward will ultimately depend on the ideas each of us contributes and the commitments we make.
We look forward to working with our student-athletes, coaches, staff, faculty and community to bring this plan to life.