Dear Saints family,
His name was George Floyd. He was a son, a brother, a father, a friend, and a partner. On May 25, 2020, Mr. Floyd died in police custody, a senseless death that would set into motion protests and demonstrations across the nation and globe. For the past eleven months, the eyes of the world have been on Minnesota. Yesterday, former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of Mr. Floyd’s death.
Unfortunately, anti-Black violence did not begin or end with the killing of George Floyd. Nonetheless, we recognize that yesterday’s conviction represents a pivotal and historic moment.
In the wake of the most recent killings of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo and Ma’Khia Bryant, the trial of Derek Chauvin has been especially traumatic for Black, Indigenous and People of Color in our communities. The collective grief and pain will not be absolved with one verdict and justice will never be realized until systemic change occurs. Racial violence and bigotry have no place in our society. Black and Brown lives matter, yesterday, today and always.
While we hold our community in prayer today, we also recognize the critical role we play in helping to create a more just, peaceful world tomorrow. As members of an institution of higher education, it is each of our responsibilities to build on the momentum of this moment through our respective work with our learners and with each other, and make permanent change for an equitable and just society. Our Benedictine heritage calls on us to dismantle systems of oppression and to recognize the dignity and worth of every human being; this is how we come together in solidarity. This is how we live out our values in Community.
In tandem with our Benedictine responsibility for social justice, we must also commit to working toward the long process of healing. Please seek support as you need it, and please encourage those who may be hurting right now to seek out support, as well. We have work to do and we must do it together in Community.
With love and respect,