In the wake of the verdict in Minneapolis, remember to care for yourself and others
This is indeed a bittersweet moment for so many in our campus community, especially our Black community. True, George Floyd did receive a measure of justice, but the events of May 25, 2020 should never have happened. Derek Chauvin may have killed Mr. Floyd, but an entrenched system of racist ideas and assumptions acted as his accomplice.
We can honor Mr. Floyd and others whose lives were cut too short by police violence with our grief and with our actions. Community action does work. We've seen it before when Washington voters approved referendum 940 following the shooting of Charleena Lyles by the Seattle Police Department. This law requires police to undergo de-escalation training and lowered the threshold for prosecution in the use of deadly force.
These measures do represent progress, however, laws can only do so much. We need to get to the core of the racist ideas and practices that killed people like Manuel Ellis and that starts with education. We at UW Tacoma are committed to anti-racist education, one that opens doors while removing barriers. The work isn’t easy and change can take time but we’ve made progress and that is because the UW Tacoma community is vocal and is always pushing us to be better.
I also encourage you to read an important message from UW President Ana Mari Cauce about this event. We will also be following up with additional opportunities and spaces for our campus community over the next several days.