The following is a statement Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs Jerry Price sent to the Chapman University community on Tuesday, April 20.
The past year has been a significant time for this country as we all work to advance social justice and we want to acknowledge the mental and physical toll the stress has caused to our faculty, staff and students—especially those in the BIPOC community.
George Floyd’s murder was a catalyst for people and institutions across the country to look inward on how they perpetuate harm—today’s verdict provided accountability but not justice and it did not alleviate the pain and loss experienced by George Floyd’s family. Today’s verdict should not be the end of that self-reflection and action against systemic racism.
This terrible death, and others that have recently occurred, have brought a renewed sense of urgency. As an institution of higher learning, we encourage our students to engage in being part of the Chapman community. Resources exist for us to help process these moments in history, but also provides opportunities for action—individually and collectively.
As an institution, we remain committed to improving diversity, equity and inclusion through several strategic initiatives and ongoing conversations with diverse campus voices while also acknowledging that we—as an institution—still have work to do.