July 01, 2020

July 4th is swiftly approaching, and we, the Leaders of the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art, join together to remember the ringing words of the Declaration of Independence, and its clarion call to the loftiest and most noble of aspirations -- a society founded on the premise that all are equal, and given by God certain unalienable Rights, including Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We stand in solidarity with the many voices outraged at the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. These voices draw us to acknowledge the horror of continued institutional racism and violence faced by many in our country. 

We are actors, artists, musicians, and scholars in the nation's capital, and we have zero tolerance for racism and violence in our nation and anywhere in the world. 

As artists and educators, we believe that all must participate vigorously in democracy and empower our community to make change. This must be achieved with far more than words. It will also require action from all of us, including the leaders and policy makers in our school. As supporters of the mission of The Catholic University of America, we believe that all life is sacred. Thus in response to the multigenerational discrimination in our city and nationwide, we specifically state Black lives matter. We say it again, and we ask you -- our students and colleagues -- to join us in affirming that Black lives matter!

Asking for forgiveness and doing penance is a central tenet of the Catholic faith, and is bound up in the sacrament of reconciliation. In that spirit, we renew our commitment to listen to and engage with black voices in the arts, to examine our own biases and racist tendencies, and to endeavor to create an art that is more equitable towards all members of our community.

For the support of this declaration, we mutually pledge our commitment to building a more just society.  We ask you to join us in this sacred cause.


Dean of the Rome School of Music, Drama and Art
Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw

Associate Deans
Jay Brock
Patrick Tuite

Chairs of Music
Jay Brock
Stephen Gorbos

Chair of Drama
Eleanor Holdridge

Chair of Art
Nora Heimann

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