Knox Issues Statement Following Verdict in Derek Chauvin Trial
President Teresa Amott sent the message below to the campus community following the announcement of guilty verdicts resulting from the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.
Dear Knox community:
The verdict is in, and the jury has voted guilty on all three charges. The 12 individuals on the jury carefully evaluated the testimony and evidence presented at the trial. The trial took place in a courtroom in Minneapolis but the whole nation—indeed people around the world—watched as our national history of systemic racism was also on trial. Given the stakes of this trial, it is understandable that we all may be feeling raw, intense emotions at this moment. This is particularly true for our Black community members. This verdict is just one reminder of the day-to-day trauma Black individuals experience.
As the trial progressed and we witnessed the killings of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo and others, many Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color within our community were re-traumatized . At the same time, we saw millions of people marching for justice and accountability, reminding us that the fight for racial justice is far from over.
We will need time to process and heal from this trauma, and we encourage you to build a space of compassion, respect, authenticity, and courage together, and particularly for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color within our community. The HOPE Center is hosting a series of racial healing circles for Black students, faculty, and staff in early May and will share the dates with you very soon. The Center is also providing space for our Black students, faculty, and staff who may want to be in community with each other this evening. The Center will be open tomorrow for any students, faculty, and staff who want a space to talk or be in community with others. Staff are also available to meet one on one with students.
Counseling Services continues to provide remote sessions and can be reached simply by emailing email@example.com to request an appointment.
We are hopeful that this verdict of accountability will catalyze more action for justice by showing that we can end police brutality and the systemic racism that feeds it. Intercultural Life has provided a set of resources to help us learn more about anti-racism efforts and direct actions that can be taken. There are also many racial justice resources that provide ideas for actions you can take now to educate yourself and hold police accountable to their mission to protect and serve, including Campaign Zero, Black Lives Matter, NAACP, and Color of Change.
Teresa Amott, President
Published on April 20, 2021