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The Derek Chauvin trial

The Mount Holyoke College seal

April 20, 2021

Dear members of the Mount Holyoke community,

As many of us watched the guilty verdict delivered in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who mercilessly killed George Floyd on May 25, 2020, we felt a keen awareness that there is so much more yet to be done.

While a measure of justice has been served, nothing — no conviction or sentence — can fully account for the painful loss of George Floyd’s life. Our thoughts remain with his family and friends, and with those of so many others who, like him, have lost their loved ones to police brutality, excessive force and racial violence.

These episodes of racial violence in America are all too frequent and they are ubiquitous. In the face of the George Floyd trial and continued violence in Minneapolis and across the United States, many in our community, especially Black and Indigenous people and people of color, are experiencing distress and anger, anxiety and exhaustion. We acknowledge your pain and we will continue to advocate for you and to support you. Remote and residential students seeking support should visit the Counseling Service webpage for resources available to you. Staff and faculty can find information about available support in the Human Resources section of my.mtholyoke (login required).

As we turn to each other and to our extended Mount Holyoke community to share and raise awareness of longstanding and persistent racial injustices, let us be in solidarity with those suffering and in pain, and commit to doing our part to practice and promote justice and change.

Now, more than ever, we must demonstrate that Black lives matter at Mount Holyoke College and in our communities everywhere. Let justice motivate our every action as each of us strives to be better, to do more on our individual journeys toward becoming anti-racist, and as we commit our every effort to equity and to enduring and systemic change at Mount Holyoke and beyond.

In solidarity,