April 20, 2021
Dear GSAPP Community,
I am writing as we process the news of Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdict on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd, a Black man. The hurt and outrage many of us have felt is not swept aside by one case of accountability, as we witness ongoing racial violence including the painful new instances of the killings in recent weeks of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo. If anything, this pivotal moment in the country’s racial justice movement makes clear that the work for police reform and criminal justice is far from done. As we mourn these lost lives, and the hundreds of thousands of other lives lost at the hands of state brutality in the course of this country’s history of racism, we must recognize and continue to fight the white supremacy, structural racism, and anti-Black racism across our disciplines and practices.
I know that this is a challenging time for many of you. I encourage you to make use of the resources for support offered by the University, including Student Resources for health and well-being, counseling, and promoting racial justice; commitments to Inclusion and Belonging; and tools for reporting incidents of bias.
While there is hope that the outcome of this trial will resonate for a long time, it is important to acknowledge it does not erase the pain and suffering that too many Black Americans and communities of color in this country have endured. I remain dedicated to supporting all of you and our shared commitment to an active anti-racist perspective that will enable new foundations from which to think, imagine, and practice more equitably.