WASHINGTON, April 21, 2021 –“The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ The family and loved ones of George Floyd can find some semblance of justice in a Minnesota jury’s verdict that Derek Chauvin is guilty of Floyd’s brutal murder. This is also a seminal moment for the families of many others like Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Philando Castile, and Eric Garner who can also find some semblance of justice.
But the verdict will not reverse their incalculable loss, or by itself repair a criminal justice system that too often continues to systemically discriminate against people of color. However, this verdict sends a forceful message to all with authority that violence and unjust use of power will not be tolerated.
It has been almost one year since one bystander’s cellphone video sparked global calls for justice—and a long-overdue national reckoning with the legacy of slavery, systemic racism, segregation, and mass incarceration. That work continues today; we must continue to demand social and economic justice. And we must continue to state, unequivocally, that Black Lives Matter.
As incubators of diversity, colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to advance these issues. AASCU and its nearly 400 members take our responsibility seriously in preparing our students to be engaged citizens in a democratic, global society.
The killings of unarmed Black men and women and other persons of color at the hands of law enforcement must stop. The pains these injustices inflict on families, communities, and the nation are immense. They run deep. And they are unacceptable.
Yesterday’s verdict represents accountability—something that is too seldom realized. But we still have much work to do before ‘and justice for all’ is a creed this country fully lives up to.”
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. Visit us at www.aascu.org.