In February, Union hosted Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the Judith Davidson Moyers Women of Spirit Lecture. It is believed to have been one of her last public appearances before the COVID-19 pandemic ended most public events. It was a special evening for the community, as her brilliant mind and sense of humor were evident during her conversation with veteran journalist Bill Moyers. And afterwards, Justice Ginsburg took some time to meet with Union students. The Union community, along with our nation, mourns the loss of this champion for justice and equality. Today, President Serene Jones sent the following letter to the community:
Dear Union Family,
As people across the nation begin the process of grieving the death of one of our country’s greatest leaders, Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I write to you about the special sense of loss many in this community are no doubt feeling.
Last February, a mere seven months ago, we had the great honor of hosting Justice Ginsberg at Union. It was perhaps one of her last public appearances as COVID-19 shut down travel shortly thereafter.
The whole evening was luminous. She came to deliver the “Judith Moyers Women of Spirit Lecture.” The event was a discussion with journalist, Bill Moyers and RBG. It was a powerful, historic event, and the hospitality extended to her and to all the guests that visited our campus that evening was remarkable. We were Union at its very best. Students especially put in hours and hours of devoted work to make sure we welcomed her and celebrated her in ways that expressed our admiration for her life-long work and witness. Many of you had the joy of talking to her personally and inspiring her with your excitement.
At the end of the formal discussion, Bill Moyers posed the following question: “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. And students from Union, faculty, and staff, frequently take on injustice directly…What should citizens do, like these students have done, who see injustice being perpetrated?”
Justice Ginsburg replied without hesitation, “My faith is in today’s young people…I think there is a spirit among today’s young people that wants to combat injustice. That’s what I believe, and I would do everything I could to encourage that.”
She then held a meeting that she specifically requested in a nearby classroom with students. She said that you were the highlight of her time at UTS. Her hope, our hope, is in the change Union students bring to a world in such desperate need of courageous leaders.
Please know that today we share profound grief in her passing and in all that is entailed by her absence. Keep in your prayers especially her son-in-law and her granddaughter, who were also on campus.
Pray also for our nation in these troubled days.
With profound gratitude and peace,
The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones
President and Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy
To view the Women of Spirit Lecture featuring Justice Ginsburg, click here.