Dear campus community,
Moments ago, the jury selected for the trial of Derek Chauvin rendered their verdict. Mr. Chauvin was found guilty of all charges and will be sentenced for his crime.
While I believe this is a step in the right direction, it is but one step on the long road to equal justice for all citizens of this nation. Though I am relieved, the work is far from complete. Even a just verdict can’t erase what we all witnessed in that infamous and horrific video. The crime for which Mr. Chauvin is now to pay was an unspeakable act of murder and injustice, inflicted by a man who had sworn to uphold justice. Justice, at least as defined by our legal system, has been served, but it won’t restore life to George Floyd, and it won’t erase the grief of those who mourn him.
The question we must all ask ourselves is: what will we do now? As individuals? As a university? As a people and a nation? In the Book of Ecclesiastes, it states: “There is a time for everything…a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build…a time to love and a time to hate.” Each of us, and all of us, have a choice, and a responsibility.
My hope is that we find in this moment an opportunity from which we can heal, and build, and love. This is not an easy choice, and not an easy task. But this is where our hope lies, and hope is the key to envisioning and creating a better world for all of us. That hope lives on our campus, as does the passion and commitment to building a culture where every single one of us is valued, and included. Let’s continue this work, and make our campus a model of what that better world can be.
M. Roy Wilson