Messages to the Community

University Statement Following the Derek Chauvin Verdict

A message from Dr. Dwight A. McBride, President and University Professor

With yesterday’s guilty verdicts on the Derek Chauvin trial, we have seen the justice system do its work. We exhale. We have a sense of closure on a case that has been extremely painful, both for the act of police brutality it revealed and for the bright light it shined on the systemic racism that continues to plague our nation.

Yesterday’s verdict represents a milestone. But we know that one case does not equal reform. Indeed, just as this historic verdict was being made public, 16 year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was killed by police in Columbus,Ohio, another heartbreaking example of police brutality that has disproportionately targeted African Americans. As Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said, “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step toward justice. And now the cause of justice is in your hands. And when I say your hands, I mean the hands of the people of the United States.”

Yesterday’s Chauvin trial verdict was an important step on the journey toward true justice and equality under the law, and I am grateful. We still have much work ahead of us. Our role at The New School is to continue to pursue our academic mission in ways that create a more just and equitable world. In the words of James Baldwin, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” That is what we do in the academy in our search for truth, knowledge, and creative solutions – we make the case for facing the hard and seemingly intractable problems that plague our society.

Please watch for more information from the Office of EISJ about programming, planned conversations, and ways to come together to process responses to the Chauvin verdict and move forward as an academic community deeply committed to social justice.

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