April 20, 2021
Following the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Officer found guilty of the murder of George Floyd, many of us are experiencing a variety of emotions and responses, including grief, outrage, fear, or exhaustion. Each of us approaches the verdict of this trial with different lived experiences and perspectives. However, we at Northland are united in the concern we feel for our students and for each other.
While we believe in the freedom of personal opinion, as a college, we have a core set of shared beliefs where each person is valued. We need to rally around our common beliefs and work to make our campuses more equitable places for our students. The judicial system has operated effectively, and a verdict has been given. We recognize the ways that this verdict impacts people of color and our communities as a whole. All of us should take time to reflect and identify inequities that impact the lives of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) members of not just our college community but of our home communities. As an institution, we have work to do, but we are committed to living our mission and values and are making conscious efforts to strengthen our commitment to equity and inclusion. Our hope now is for healing so that we can collectively move forward and focus on ways in which we are united.
The trauma you may feel from this trial may find you needing support and resources to deal with the emotional enormity of this moment. Be mindful that those around you may be hurting right now, and please look for ways to extend compassion. Students, please consider reaching out to our counseling team. Faculty and staff, please consider reaching out to the Employee Assistance Program, and, as always, let me know if you have any questions.
Minnesota State Chancellor Devinder Malhotra has issued a statement regarding the verdict and wishes to share his message with each member of the Northland community.