Community Reflections

Messages from our community to our community

Messages from our community to our community

St. Olaf community members share their reflections and calls to action

To be socially distanced doesn’t mean our hearts are apart and our prayers are masked. We created this space for Oles to share our voices in this time of great grief, fear, and heaviness. These video messages are just the start of a chorus we want to send to every Ole everywhere, and you are invited to join in the refrain. Share your reflection in whatever form is meaningful to you — be it art, prose, movement, activism, or opinion. We want to add more voices to those below. Submit your reflection to along with your name and photo.

Watch Adam Berliner

Bruce King
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion

Watch Adam Berliner

Katie Fick
Associate College Pastor

Watch Adam Berliner

Iman Jafri
Associate Chaplain for Muslim Life

Watch Matthew Marohl

Matthew Marohl
College Pastor

Watch Hassel Morrison

Hassel Morrison
Vice President for Student Life

Watch Maria Pabon

María Pabón
Director of Equity and Inclusion

Watch Dillon Cathro

Dillon Cathro ’17


Kiara Jones ’21


Black Lives Matter


Timothy Rainey II

Assistant Professor of Religion in the Americas

People and Property: Reflections on George Floyd


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Elissa Temme ’19


Since I was unable to attend the protests in San Francisco, and words seem to fail me in doing justice to the exhausting, terrifying and horrific circumstances which Black people face in this country, I spent time today trying to use my visual voice. If you wish to use these graphics, I just ask that you make a donation to a worthy organization such as Black Lives Matter, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Reclaim The Block, or the Black Visions Collective (to name a few).

These orgs are doing important work and it is crucial that those of us who are able to do whatever we can to support them. Redistribute wealth. Be responsible, as we are still in the midst of a pandemic which disproportionately affects Black and Brown people. For goodness sake, educate yourself. Write to your government officials. Re-examine your words, thoughts, and actions.

We are all, including me, complicit in racism. Anti-racism is not a hashtag or a trend or anything temporary — it is a full time job which I am still learning how to do. Right now I am watching 13th by Ava DuVernay and reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates to continue my education.

Justice for George Floyd
No justice no peace
Silence is not an option

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Amelia Podolny ’23


I started baking for Black Lives Matter because I felt compelled to take action against the racial violence so obviously present in my community. While I was celebrating my 19th birthday, George Floyd was killed because of his skin color less than 10 miles away from my house. The contrast between my situation and that of Floyd brought on feelings of shame, disgust, sadness and anger. Shame that I had been oblivious to the racial disparities in my community; disgust towards the actions of the four white police officers that killed George Floyd; sadness about the tragic ending of Floyd’s life; and anger towards a society that has allowed racism to flourish both outright and behind the scenes. As protesters took to the streets in Minneapolis and throughout the world, I planned to join them in their fight for racial equality. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and having immunocompromised family members, I was unable to attend.

I was determined to do my part to fight racism, even if I did not attend a protest; this resulted in Baking for Black Lives Matter. Each week, I bake something different for people to order for a suggested donation price. 100% of proceeds go to Black Lives Matter, and I am thrilled to report that as of today, June 27, 2020, we have raised $635. I ship baked goods anywhere throughout the USA and deliver to the Twin Cities area. Baked goods can be ordered HERE. Thank you for ordering to join the fight against racial violence.


Watch Student-Athlete Message



TRIGGER WARNING: violence, murder

A video message from student-athletes, led by Gabe Alada ’22 and Bobby Isbell ’21, including:
Rose Sandell ’21
Randy Cuate ’21
Lars Prestemon ’22
Selena Rodriguez ’23
Grace Boswell-Healey ’22
Julie Graf ’21
Teresa Fawcett ’22
Dominic Bledsoe ’21
K’Lynn Lewis ’22
Paige Woldt ’21
Lukas Lindgren ’21
Denver Link ’21
Danielle Palmen ’21
Zach McCarty ’21
Dylan Kooner ’21
Casey Parker ’22
Danny Nichols ’22
Sarah Giovannozzi ’23
Syke Sonnega ’21
Dez Young ’21
Jena Hauch ’21
Amanda Susnik ’21
Tor Hanson ’23


Herbert Washington ’04 and Patrick Bass ’05


A Big Change