Dear Trinity Community:
The verdict rendered today against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd brings a sense of justice. It does not bring closure. The brutal death of Mr. Floyd was not an isolated incident. It is part of a long history of violence that disproportionately affects Black men and communities of color.
We must continue to work together to make today’s decision a meaningful turning point in how our nation comes to terms with our legacy of racism -- within law enforcement, within our communities, and within our institutions. We all have a place, as we look around us, where we can participate in this work.
My fellow presidents Suzanne Rivera, Macalester College (Minnesota) and Gabrielle Starr, Pomona College (California) have written, and I agree, that higher education has a role to play in helping us face our history and imagine a different future. We carry within our community a burden of pain, yet we do not carry it equally. Allies can come together with students and colleagues of color to listen to the tiredness in their voices and learn to carry some of the burden, to seek solutions.
One of Trinity’s strengths is the ability of our students and graduates to take what they learn and apply it to their lives, to our world. Critical thinking, interdisciplinary creativity, and pragmatic orientation toward impact are tools that contribute to the solutions we all seek for confronting the persistent culture of violence in our society. We can create alternatives as a way forward in our world. We can ensure that the voices of our BIPOC students, colleagues, and friends are fully heard. We must foster a sense of belonging for every member of our campus community.
There are resources available to support us in this process:
- For Us By Us - contact Dr. Aisha Woods Zarb-Cousin, email@example.com
- Transgender Support Group - contact Dr. Richard Reams, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Asian & Pacific Cultural Experience - contact Esther Esparza, email@example.com
- Chaplain Alex Serna-Wallender is available to everyone. Feel free to schedule time with him directly at tuchaplain.youcanbook.me.
As we discuss and understand today’s verdict, we must continue to embrace and extend grace to one another. Please look for more information soon from our director for student diversity and inclusion, Courtney Balderas, about additional ways our community can come together and support one another in the coming days.
Danny J. Anderson