At the request of Sean Kelley (CEO of the entire Kendal Corporation) and Lisa Marsilio (our local Kendal-Crosslands CEO), many of us observed 5 minutes of silence at noon today. We were, in Kelley’s words, “…united in acknowledging what wrongs have been committed and recognizing where we stand on the long path forward to peace and justice.” I’m glad to see our corporate administration taking this strong position.
The silent vigil took place all over campus. Some stood or sat outside their front doors. Others gathered (with masks and social distancing) at various locations around campus. Jan and I went to the main drive leading up to the Center, where about 25 people were dispersed along the sides of the road. It’s hard to know how many participated in total—my guess would be perhaps 100. (I’ll update this post if I am able to get a better estimate.)
In proposing the silent vigil, Kelley cites Kendal’s Quaker origins: “Kendal has always been, and continues to be a place for those who speak out and act for social justice, in peace and in strength. Kendal and its Quaker forebearers have stood, spoken loudly and taken heroic action against discrimination….” He sees today as a time to reinvigorate that tradition. Kelley encouraged this action at all the Kendal campuses (including those that did not start out as Quaker-based institutions).
It’s possible that some people, including some residents, will view today’s vigil as a partisan political act. I don’t see it that way. Our society’s most difficult problems are rooted in historical injustice and inequality. Until those issues are addressed, unrest such as we are now seeing across the country is inevitable. People of every political persuasion need to work for justice and equality. I find there isn’t a lot we at Kendal can do doing our current lock-down phase, so I was glad to at least be involved in today’s vigil