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December community letter

Mary J. Lomax-Ghirarduzzi

A season of community: Preventing antisemitism, bias, and bigotry  


Dear Pacificans,

Antisemitism and bigotry remain a real threat to the safety and well-being of our communities. A disturbing rise in antisemitism has surged. Recent data shows 2022 as having the highest record of reported antisemitic incidents in the United States in the last 40 years.

In response, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, the first Jewish spouse of a U.S. president or vice president, led a White House roundtable this month on combating antisemitism. Closer to home, Governor Gavin Newsom recently tasked a group of leading academic experts and advocates with promoting Holocaust and genocide education to students throughout California. 

These national and statewide endeavors to address antisemitism are a reminder that we must remain vigilant in our efforts to educate and protect our community from all forms of hate. An epidemic of bias and hate requires intentional preventative actions and systemic change.

Pacific has recently implemented a new policy on Prohibiting Identity Based Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation. This policy applies to all students, faculty and staff and outlines specific prohibited misconduct that includes harassment, discrimination and retaliation based upon identity. If you experience or witness an incident of bias or hate, please report it by using this form.

Every Pacifican is encouraged to learn about antisemitism and know how to recognize and combat bigotry or discrimination whether in or outside the classroom, the residential community, or the workplace.

I also encourage Pacificans to seek additional support from one or more of the following resources:

Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
Reverend Kim Montenegro, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life
209.946.2325
kmontenegro@pacific.edu

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Dr. Rolly Rai-Kai, Senior Director for Culture and Belonging, University Ombudsperson
209.946.3385
rkalirai@pacific.edu

Counseling and Psychological Services
Dr. Kimberlee DeRushia, Director for Counseling and Psychological Services
209.946.2315
kderushia@pacific.edu

Office of Human Resources
Suong Ives, Chief People Officer
209.946.2125
sives@pacific.edu

As education dispels ignorance and love conquers hate, a systematic approach against bias and discrimination in all its forms is one of the most important acts we have undertaken at Pacific.

In this season of community, we affirm one another through embracing the culture, history, and tradition of all our religious, traditional, and spiritual communities and identities. Whether you’re gathering for prayer or reflection, a communal feast or a gift exchange, my hope is that it’s filled with joy, peace, and love. Please keep safe and enjoy winter break.

Sincerely,

Mary J. Lomax-Ghirarduzzi
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Professor of Communication