Yesterday’s verdict in the Chauvin trial was a difficult moment for many of us—not only at SCS but throughout the nation. While one individual was finally held accountable, an unjust system is still at large: one that continues to abuse power and use violence to target Black people. Along with President DeGioia and Chief Diversity Officer Rosemary Kilkenny, I recognize the profound sadness and pain that many of our members continue to feel, especially the BIPOC members of our community.
I stand with our members who are hurting right now. I want you to know that although these conversations are hard, we at SCS will continue to do the work to ensure that our School does not shy away from important discussions: not only about racial injustice and systemic oppression, but also their immediate impact on our own communities—starting right here in Washington, D.C.
I also acknowledge that we process difficult events in different ways. I encourage all our members to take advantage of upcoming events to support the Georgetown community:
Interfaith Moment of Reflection: Pursuing Justice Together Wednesday, April 21 at 6:00-7:00 p.m. ET
Hosted by Georgetown Campus Ministry
SCS Community Listening Circle
Friday, April 30 at 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Hosted by the SCS Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion Council (DEBIC) RSVP here
DEBIC will be holding a series of voluntary Community Listening Circles to foster increased community and connection among students, alumni, staff, and faculty as we seek to acknowledge our needs and to develop habits of wellness and reflection in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, racially charged events, and other stressors personally affecting us.
In light of this verdict and ongoing incidents of racial injustice, our School affirms its commitment to be an inclusive, welcoming, and respectful environment for people of all backgrounds. Yet we realize we still have much work to do at SCS and at Georgetown overall to fulfill this aspiration. In the coming days, I urge you not only to be mindful of your health and well-being but also to reach out and support one another.
Yesterday’s verdict was long overdue. It is also yet another solemn reminder that too many lives have been lost throughout the course of history: Emmett Till, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and Ma’Khia Bryant.
Let us never forget their names. Instead let us go forth and honor their memory by sustaining the fight for racial justice and for a more just, equal world.
Kelly J. Otter, PhD
Dean, School of Continuing Studies