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DePauw cabinet response to the death of George Floyd  

DePauw cabinet response to the death of George Floyd  

May 31, 2020

The unjust and tragic death of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer has once again brought to the fore the deep racial divide in this country. His death echoes with the pain of other lives lost senselessly, most recently among them Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and Sean Reed.

As leaders of an institution that values diversity and inclusion as central to its mission, we are galvanized in our anti-racist, anti-bias, anti-hate efforts and our pledge to embrace inclusion, equity and justice. 

This moment in history, marked by the inhumanity demonstrated by some, will not define all of us. We have witnessed heartfelt care and concern for each other as COVID-19 shut down our campus and the country, and that gives us hope, especially as we continue to educate the future leaders in whom we see such promise.  

As we experience grief and outrage, we must think about our individual and collective responsibility to create a more just society today and tomorrow. We absolutely reject the hatred and bigotry we continue to see in this nation. Each year, DePauw holds its Day of Dialogue to address bias, hate and inequity, and we -- along with President-elect White -- intend to do so again this year, in addition to hosting, facilitating and participating in other events and efforts inclusive of all staff, faculty and students. Once our new president arrives in July, we intend to call our DePauw community together to discuss concrete ways we can use our teaching, scholarship, community outreach and other resources to be active participants in the work needed to address historic injustice in our society.

In the meantime, all across the country, we are witnessing demonstrations rightfully demanding an end to injustice, racism and police brutality. Each of us must decide how we respond, and we urge you to do so peacefully and compassionately, for the safety of yourselves and others.   

Please know that services and resources remain available for DePauw students, staff and faculty, including Counseling ServicesSpiritual Life; and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion

Many in our DePauw community are justifiably fearful that they, or their family, friends and loved ones, could be the target of violence based solely on their identity. This fear is magnified by the anxiety we all already share about the health of our communities amid the continuing pandemic. Sharing the weight of that pain and fear through empathy, understanding and compassion, even if you are not among those most affected, is needed more urgently than ever. 

Until we see all of you again, safely returned to our campus, our hearts are with you. 

In solidarity,

Dave Berque, Alan Hill, Amanda Kim, Bobby Andrews, Dawna Wilson, Deedie Dowdle, Mellasenah Morris, Bob Leonard, Betsy Demmings 

Read a statement from the Africana Studies faculty here

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