In the forced quiet of quarantine, many of us have discovered a space for deep introspection and an illuminated path to the threshold of reconciliation. The blessing of this silence—this radical moment of reflection—while energizing and freeing, is also painful and poignant.
The coronavirus pandemic has, ultimately, gifted us the commodities of time, opportunity, and space, the absence of which tends to stand in the way of this important work. The time to research and reflect and connect. The opportunity to express and engage away from the confines of convenience. The space to seize moments of cascading emotion—for our grieving neighbors, for our Black brothers and sisters, for our fractured humanity. How fortunate some of us are to be afforded these circumstances. How advantaged we are to use these moments to honor the voices and virtues of those who have fought for the freedom and opportunity and power of occupying these crevices of privilege.
Two years ago, as we considered what Pepperdine Magazine is and reimagined what it could and should be, we made a commitment to magnifying the topics that are important to our incredibly diverse community and the voices that must be amplified. I only hope we have made a small dent in the overwhelming need for more complex and critical storytelling, and I remain committed to celebrating the varying perspectives contributing to the national conversation.
In the next issue out this fall, as we honor the healthcare heroes who, in an emergency or the everyday, demonstrate exceptional work in their diverse fields, we will also explore topics of racial injustice and inequity, especially in communities of color, and highlight the members of Pepperdine’s widespread family who have committed themselves to the important work of studying and improving the systems that have failed far too many for far too long.
In a recent letter to the editor, a reader shared that he found the spring issue of the magazine to be a “great picture of Pepperdine.” I couldn’t have felt prouder as I reflected on the stories and voices that were elevated in the issue and the presentation of Pepperdine’s diversity in different forms— racial, ethnic, gender, resource, and age. My greatest hope, with each page, is to put on spectacular display the tapestry that is the Pepperdine story. It is truly a beautiful story to tell, and it inspires and uplifts me every day. But, the work is never done and we still have “miles to go before we sleep.”
As we steep in the pain of a broken world, as we alter what’s familiar and comfortable to us for the benefit of our fellow man, and as we reform and reconcile our own biases, may we heighten our commitment to learning, to listening, and to loving beyond our walls, beyond our borders, beyond what we believe to be true and sit in the quiet of quarantine to hear the drumbeat of who we collectively are and how we can begin to heal.