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A verdict in the George Floyd murder trial

Dear All,

We know from history, as corroborated by an analysis from the April 19, 2021 New York Times, that cases involving police and Black and Brown people often end without a conviction at trial. Many watching the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged with the death of George Floyd, believed that this case would have a different outcome. It had to: the visual evidence was incontrovertible, the brutality unconscionable.

We know now the outcome of this case—a guilty verdict—and that sentencing will come in several weeks. In the meantime, we understand that there remains deep emotion about such cases and the justifiable anger, trauma, and distrust they provoke. Systemic racism in any institution and form, as has occurred in the justice system brings immeasurable harm to our community and nation.

Our campus—so many of you—have worked tirelessly this year to listen and learn, confront bias, reform policies and structures, tell your stories, and “be the change you want to see” in our community. These efforts will continue.

George Floyd’s story is our story. We commit to ensuring that his name and memory live on in our anti-racism work and journey. Thank you for joining us on this perpetual journey. We know that we have a long way to go.

Kathryn A. Foster, President and
James A. Felton III, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence