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A powerful day at Notre Dame’s Prayer and Unity Walk

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staNDup for social justice

Courtesy Fighting Irish Media

Juneteenth at the University of Notre Dame was a celebration of freedom, but also a somber day of reflection and education. ——-Every varsity coaching staff of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish was represented with 13 head coaches in attendance — but this was a day where the students provided the leadership.

Father Jenkins gave a prayer and Head Coach Brian Kelly gave a heartfelt speech, but it was prayer from Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa and the speech from Max Siegal and the impassioned leadership from Daelin Hayes that stood out for the day.

Daelin Hayes
Courtesy Fighting Irish Media

Hayes in particular shined brightest while on stage and while leading his team on the walk. Daelin’s speech was not only one about the matters at hand, but also a plea for everyone to do better — students, fans,the university — every one.

“Notre Dame cannot just be an ideal. It can’t just be something that our community looks at and says, ‘Wow, that’s great but it’s never going to be for me. To hell with that.”

This was an important and a historic day for everyone involved at Notre Dame. The fact that Notre Dame has embraced the conversation of Black Lives Matter, and is seeking out the right thing to do should be commended, but this cannot be the end of it at the school. They must press on with the tough and awkward conversations and do more to be a positive force for people of color in and around the Notre Dame community.

This is what Father Ted would want, and I can’t help but think of how proud he would be of the 1500+ people in attendance on Friday. I certainly know that I am.

You can watch all of the prayers and speeches in their entirety in the player below. Watch it — feel it, and try to be a conduit for positive change for our future.