Monday, Sept. 21, 2020
Dear campus community,
Over the weekend we have mourned the passing of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg passed away Friday night after a long battle with cancer. By now we have read and heard many tributes to this remarkable woman.
A few months ago Justice Ginsburg was presented with the World Peace and Liberty Award by the World Jurist Association and the World Law Foundation. As only the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg was chosen in recognition of her contributions to gender equality and civil rights. In accepting the award, Justice Ginsburg noted, “Judges are human, and the natural state of humankind is imperfection. But despite our fallibility, it is our sacred charge to uphold the law and to administer justice fairly to all persons, no matter how powerful or small. In the years remaining to me on the United States Supreme Court bench, I will strive to do just that.”
Today marks the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a day devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace. This also is a perfect time for all of us to recommit to the work of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This is a perfect time for all of us to continue the fight for justice, for peace, and for equality.
Hanging outside our Boyden Hall is BSU’s peace flag. We fly flags as symbols by which to express solidarity with peoples who have been the targets of hate and violence, peoples who have been marginalized by racism, misogyny, homophobia, and hate and prejudices which seek to diminish us. As most of us know, the design of the new flag is based on Martin Richard’s expression of peace and hope as inscribed on the sign Martin is holding on his statue gracing University Park, a sign that he made in response to the death of Trayvon Martin.
BSU’s peace flag is a symbol that reminds us that we must always work to be a welcoming, compassionate, and intellectually rigorous learning, working, and living community. We condemn all forms of bias, discrimination, xenophobia, and violence. We commit and recommit ourselves to actions that reflect our individual and institutional values of diversity, inclusion, and equality for all.
Let Justice Ginsburg’s life and deeds inspire us all to live up to her ideals.
If you have not already done so, I invite you to join with hundreds of members of the BSU community in committing to these values by signing onto the university’s official statement.