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Salve community holds rally against racism, violence

The Salve Regina community is invited to participate in a “United in Mercy Rally” today from 1:45-2:15 p.m. in the circle outside McAuley Hall. Organized by the Mercy Center for Spiritual Life, the rally will celebrate Salve’s diversity and will give members of the academic community an opportunity to project a unified voice against intolerance, bigotry, racism and violence.

The idea for the event developed following the Aug. 11-12 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., during which a protest opposing the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue from Emancipation Park turned deadly. Reported among the protesters at that rally were white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates and neo-Nazis.

“We wish to reaffirm our commitment to the unassailable and common dignity of every member of our Salve Regina community,” said Anna Mae Mayer, director of the Mercy Center for Spiritual Life. “My hope is that this gathering will set a positive tone as we begin another year together.

“This is a good and necessary time to raise our voices to celebrate the diversity of our community and to underscore the values that hold us together as family as the proponents of bigotry and racism and intolerance have become more vocal and emboldened,” Mayer said. “Please join us as we stand United in Mercy.”

A statement issued by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas following the violence at Charlottesville reflects the university’s concerns for society’s underserved: “Tragedies like this one continue to spotlight our society's institutionalized structural racism. While this latest incident has caught the attention of our nation, we know that every day people of color in this country feel threatened by its impact. Our ongoing failure to see ourselves and all of creation as one perpetuates our separation; our sense of ‘we’ and ‘they’ only serves to diminish all of us.”