We write to you following the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the officer involved in the death of George Floyd — a death that led to so much anger, fear, anguish, and reflection on yet another example of systemic racism over the past year.
Speaking on behalf of UMA’s Board of Trustees and our leaders, let us say this: It is tragic that George Floyd was killed in custody. Tragic that some protests resulted in violence. Tragic that the wounds of systemic racism continue.
While we cannot erase the history that precedes us or the pain and fear that so many still live with today, step by step, together, we can move toward a more promising future of social justice for all.
As we’ve said before, we at UMA are committed to facilitating and supporting positive change in our school, in our community, and in all the communities where our students and alumni live and work across the nation. We look ahead. The future begins with us. We must each do our part to build a more inclusive and peaceful society, beginning to dismantle the barriers that stand in our way.
The jury has delivered its verdict. The verdict will not bring back George Floyd, nor will it bring back so many others who died too soon and did not see justice served. However, it does serve as a marker in our history and one that we hope can be a turning point away from animosity and fear and toward greater equity and compassion.
Dr. Darlyne Bailey
Chair of the Board of Trustees, UMA