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Statement from Dr. Clark on Chauvin verdict

To the WCSU community, 

While we await sentencing, it appears that finally justice has been served in the homicide case of George Floyd with the guilty verdict of former police officer Derek Chauvin on all counts. Although we have been cruelly disappointed in the past, we hope that after three centuries of racial injustice, the George Floyd case will stand in our history as the turning point when true social justice was achieved and race or the color of one’s skin does not determine how anyone is treated by our courts or law enforcement.  We deeply desire a society where all our fellow citizens are truly valued and equity and fairness become the rule of everyday life in a new and just America.

ImportantIy, I ask that we all react responsibly and without malice or acts that would diminish this historic verdict and dishonor the memory of George Floyd. Please be safe and don’t do anything to cause harm.  Also, while we expect significant police reforms to prevent horrible tragedies like this from occurring, we also must respect and support the work of the majority of our law enforcement officers, who are committed to the same values.

The Floyd court case has shown a bright light on the terrible inequality and injustice experienced by people of color in the United States for so long and the verdict gives us hope that our tainted past can be finally changed forever.  However, history has shown us that we must continue to fight to achieve social justice and Western Connecticut State University will continue our educational and community efforts to overcome ignorance, racial hatred, bias and discrimination of all types.  We shall strive to meet our shared goal to create a socially and racially just society that celebrates mutual respect, diversity and inclusiveness and rewards industry, intellect and accomplishment, regardless of age, ancestry, citizenship, disability, ethnicity, race/color, gender/gender identification, marital status, sexual orientation or religion.

I remind you that you are always free to take advantage of the advice and services offered by WCSU Counseling Services at (203) 837-8690 and CounselingServices@wcsu.edu; the Office of Diversity and Equity, (203) 837-8444 and minierj@wcsu.edu; the Office of Intercultural Affairs (203) 837-8549 and ICA@wcsu.edu; the WCSU Racial Justice Coalition; and individual professors and staff members you are comfortable talking with.

And please join the WCSU community at a virtual town hall meeting on Monday, April 26, at 3 p.m. sponsored by the WCSU Racial Justice Coalition and the Diversity Council to discuss the verdict and its impact on our university and the future of our nation. Register here to attend: https://wcsu.webex.com/wcsu/j.phpMTID=m1b659e4af22cf132d955ffbfb4485113.

 

Dr. John B. Clark

President

Western Connecticut State University