A letter from Emory deans in response to George Floyd murder verdict


Oxford College entrance
Mitchell Fenske Photo

The deans of Emory University, including Oxford College Dean Douglas A. Hicks, sent the following message to the Emory community on April 21.

Dear Members of the Emory Community,  

We write to you with one voice as deans of Emory University. The verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin was an important moment in this long year of reckoning with the injustice of racial violence in the United States — and we know that many of our students, staff, and faculty have been closely watching this trial.  

While Derek Chauvin has been held accountable for his actions, we also realize that this verdict does not make any less painful the murder of George Floyd, and in fact it raises again for us the sadness, frustration, and rage over this tragic and senseless death — and the many senseless deaths for which no one has yet been held accountable.  

We are grateful for the Emory community and the many expressions of anger and calls for justice, since May of last year, seeking racial and social justice in this case, far beyond this case, and on our own campus. We hope that our entire community recognizes the individuals who worked so hard to bring justice in this case and to speak for families who have so long been denied their voice.  May this event make us all stronger and determined to recognize right from wrong, and to fight for the weakest among us on our journey towards equity for all.  

We will continue working to make Emory a more equitable and inclusive community that lives up to its ideals.  As academic leaders, we are committed to that work on campus, both inside and outside of the classroom, and to supporting scholarship that addresses the systemic racism that continues to shape our world.  

Now, on April 21, we are in the final, busy weeks of spring semester and this extraordinary academic year. Our community is scattered across campus and across the country and world. And yet we stand together in our hope and our expectation that we must continually do the hard work to support one another, to name and correct injustices, and build a stronger, inclusive Emory.  

Sincerely,  

Mary Anne Bobinski, Dean, Emory School of Law  

Jim Curran, Dean, Rollins School of Public Health  

Michael A. Elliott, Dean, Emory College of Arts and Sciences  

Enku Gelaye, Dean and Vice President, Campus Life  

Douglas A. Hicks, Dean, Oxford College  

Linda A. McCauley, Dean, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing  

Karen Sedatole, Interim Dean, Goizueta Business School  

Jonathan Strom, Senior Associate Dean, Candler School of Theology  

Vikas P. Sukhatme, Dean, Emory School of Medicine  

Lisa A. Tedesco, Dean, Laney Graduate School  

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