HomepagePresident’s OfficeStatement on Chauvin Trial

Statement on Chauvin Trial

April 20, 2021

 

Dear Campus Community,

Like many people around the country, we at Ursinus College have closely followed the trial of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was charged in the murder of George Floyd. Today, a jury found Chauvin guilty on all three charges.

It has been almost one year since George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis. We watched in horror as his nine-minute struggle for life ended on a Minneapolis street corner, surrounded by witnesses whose powerful eyewitness accounts awakened many to the devastating effects of systemic and institutional racism. Today’s decision will likely elicit an emotional response, including for members of our own campus community. We ask that each of you express those emotions respectfully and peacefully and in a way that invites a productive and open dialogue with one another. We must not give in to divisive rhetoric, but instead engage in action and understanding.

We must also make sure that the voices of those whose lives have tragically ended remain in our national conscience. The names are far too many, but we must remember them: Breonna Taylor. Walter Scott. Jenoah Donald. Soon Chung Park and her fellow Asian-Americans who perished in the Atlanta shootings and who have been targeted by xenophobia during this pandemic. We recognize that acts of hatred and violence have also been carried out against the LGBTQ+ community, religious communities, and against other underrepresented individuals and groups. The extent of this list reminds us of the harsh realities that some face in our nation. We have to be stronger in condemnation of the violence that far too routinely occurs to underrepresented minorities and people of color.

The circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death and the trial itself have sparked protests and civil unrest across our nation. And they have directly impacted members of our own community, especially so many of our students. We hope that we may find strength to work with one another to confront the systemic racism that continues to plague our country. The work of combatting racist practices requires a deep and lasting commitment, but we must make that commitment first as individuals before we can begin to effect change in our larger communities.

Sincerely,

Brock Blomberg, president
Heather Lobban-Viravong, vice president for college and community engagement

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