Members of the Rutgers Community:
A guilty verdict has been rendered by the jury in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer whose brutal and callous actions during the arrest of George Floyd last May prompted international outrage.
Today’s verdict does not change the fact that as a nation we must work much harder to deliver equal justice for all, and to build a United States that lives up to its ideals. A mother shouldn’t have to teach her children to live in fear that a police officer may treat them with suspicion—or worse—just because of the color of their skin. Systemic racism that denies economic, educational, and social opportunity to a full half of our nation has got to end.
While each of us has a personal responsibility to build a better world, what role can Rutgers as an institution play in bringing about the changes we so desperately need?
We can continue being a place of opportunity for all, where every student, researcher, and faculty or staff member can thrive.
We can commit more deeply to equity and inclusion, and to listening to one another, valuing every member of our community, recognizing our differences, and embracing one another precisely because of those differences.
And we can leverage our powerful and unique academic resources, like the university-wide Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice, to influence policy and bring structural change to our world. While, indeed, this moment is an American moment, racism, intolerance, and injustice are global problems.
Today, we penned a page in a story that has spanned centuries. It is a story that we are all writing, that we are all living, and for which only we can craft the next chapter.
We ask you to all join us as we write that chapter and that together our story will be one where racism is rejected, where everyone is welcome and respected.
Jonathan Holloway, President
Nancy Cantor, Chancellor, Rutgers University–Newark
Margaret Marsh, Interim Chancellor, Rutgers University–Camden
Christopher Molloy, Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Brian Strom, Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences