Penn State leaders share message ahead of expected verdict in Minneapolis

April 18, 2021

To the Penn State community,

As the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin draws to a close in the upcoming days, we are again pulled into the tragic events that occurred in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. It is with heavy hearts that we share our grief and deepest sympathies with the family of George Floyd, who died during this encounter.

We hope the judicial process is resolved so that the Floyd family may receive some degree of closure. To lose a loved one in such an agonizing manner creates a pain that no person should ever have to bear, adding layers of trauma, anger, frustration and heartache.

As we seek to understand the hurt that is within our Black and other communities of color, we must recognize that this is an incredibly taxing and stressful time, regardless of the outcome of this trial. The repeated killings of Black individuals across the nation continues to cause further anguish and suffering that builds upon decades of unjust acts and disparate treatment of these groups in America.

It is critical that we all understand that -- as individuals and as a community -- we have the ability to change this dynamic and help lift each other up. Everyone must challenge and defy these inequalities, and work harder every day to be anti-racist. We must all speak up actively against injustices, help one another and care for others so that all members of our community may thrive.

In the days and weeks ahead, members of our community may be seeking a place to share their concerns, address their needs, or empathize with others. We understand that our community is watching this trial very carefully and encourage all to take advantage of the various resources offered at the University or share them with someone in our community who is in need of support.

It is our greatest hope that our University, our country and the entire world can strive to be better, not just today, but every day.

Sincerely,

Eric Barron, president

Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost

Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs

Marcus Whitehurst, vice provost for Educational Equity

Last Updated April 20, 2021