Message from President Hurley - Reflection on Derek Chauvin Verdict

April 21, 2021

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Dear Members of the Canisius College Community:

The trial of Derek Chauvin has punctuated a painful year of events and difficult dialogues that have deeply affected America and our Canisius community, especially Black members of our community.

Time and again, we have seen disturbing, often heart-wrenching news reports and images that undermine the values and ideals that we hold dear as a community - justice, equality, inclusion and racial equity.  Yesterday's verdict in the Chauvin trial is a beacon for justice and the rule of law that for so many is long overdue.  But, this is clearly only the beginning, and we must remain committed to nurturing a culture that honors fairness, equality and inclusiveness.

Canisius will make space available on campus in Science Hall Commons today, Wednesday, April 21 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm for support and conversation.  An online discussion space will also be open today from 3:00 – 5:00 pm available via Zoom.  Christ the King Chapel will be open to all for reflection and prayer.

Residence hall directors are available to speak with students and the college’s Counseling Center and the Offices of Campus Ministry, Diversity and Inclusion, and the ALANA Student Center are ready to support our community.  Faculty resources are also  available to those who wish to create space in classes for conversation.  Faculty are encouraged to visit https://sites.google.com/my.canisius.edu/there-is-room/home for the “There is Room” teaching resources and the library for additional guides and materials here: https://libguides.canisius.edu/c.php?g=1050193&p=7623164.

We know that the experiences with racial injustice, and the images we’ve witnessed have taken a toll on members of our community.  I urge everyone to take advantage of the resources and programs available to process this moment and begin to move forward toward a better day.  

Canisius remains unified in its condemnation of all forms of injustice, racism and violence.  Let us look to this as a pivotal opportunity to commit ourselves to prayer, peaceful and thoughtful actions, and respectful dialogue in the work ahead of us. 

With my prayers,

 

John J. Hurley, President

Canisius College