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Dean's Message on Derek Chauvin VerdictApril 21, 2021

Dear fellow members of the SOE community:

Yesterday, a guilty verdict was rendered by the jury in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who brutally murdered George Floyd on a street in Minneapolis last May.

While the verdict was a relief for many (particularly the Floyd family), it does not change the fact that we have a long road ahead of us to ensure equal justice for all---in the criminal justice system, in school systems, in health systems, etc. Seeing accountability for the murder of George Floyd provides a sense of relief but surely, it does not erase the pain and injustices experienced by countless Black, Brown, and indigenous people. The parents and families of Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, Donovan Lynch, and countless others are still waiting for justice for their loved ones.

As I've mentioned in previous messages, educators have a special responsibility to advance racial justice at every turn. The outcome of the Chauvin trial is a small step on our collective justice journey. This is a momentous time because it marks the urgency of our core values--antiracism, equity, and justice. But it's not the endgame. We must remain committed to education justice for all.

Onward together,