Dear Campus Community,
I write to you today regarding the guilty verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial for George Floyd’s tragic murder. While I am relieved that Chauvin was found guilty on all counts and that some small form of justice has been delivered to George Floyd’s family, it will not bring him back to life, it will not erase the trauma and pain caused by centuries of systemic racism that have led to the additional recent killings of Daunte Wright, a 20 year-old involved in a traffic stop, and Adam Toledo, a seventh grader with his hands raised, at the hands of officers sworn to protect and serve.
Our work, values and passion for realizing racial and social justice make these occurrences not just something that happened in another place to other people, but something that is deeply personal and that has the power to affect us all in profound ways. Based on our own lived experiences, we will not all experience this moment in the same way. I ask that we take care of one another and that we seek support and engage in dialogue.
For CSUN students, faculty and staff in need of support to process this and other recent tragic events, University Counseling Services is there for you, offering same-day emergency counseling and a 24/7 crisis line, which can be accessed by calling 818-677-2366 and selecting Option #1 for regular hours or Option #3 for after-hours.
CSUN faculty and staff can also access the Employee Assistance Program, which provides confidential support services at no cost. Call LifeMatters at 1-800-367-7474 or log on towww.mylifematters.com (sign-in code: Matadors).
I ask supervisors and faculty members to be understanding, compassionate and empathic with students and employees who are struggling, and I ask that we stand together in our unwavering commitment to a more just future.
We must stand in solidarity with every member of our community who has been the victim of racial violence and who is grieving, frustrated or angry at living in a society so deeply rooted in systemic racism. Racism in all its forms is a fierce enemy to us all as we seek a better and more just world for our collective future. Now is the time to stand strong rooted in our values and embrace an anti-racist institution, and enact courageous leadership and a profound sense of urgency in eliminating policies and practices that have a disproportionately negative impact on individuals who are Black, Indigenous and people of color.
We can continue to serve as a beacon of hope and light in these dark times if we engage in courageous leadership, allyship and take personal responsibility for dismantling racism in all its forms and enacting a campus community rooted in equity and justice for all.
With all my heart, may all of the victims of racial violence rest in peace, may George Floyd’s death bring lasting change and may his family one day find peace.
ERIKA D. BECK, PH.D.
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8230
Pronouns: she, her, hers
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