The Chauvin Verdict

April 20, 2021

Dear LMU Community:

Earlier today, we joined citizens across the globe and breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing that the jury has weighed the evidence and reached a guilty verdict in the case of Derek Chauvin. Any other outcome seems unthinkable, especially amidst a history where prior verdicts remain, for many of us, hard to fathom.

The pain and anger precipitated by George Floyd’s killing and that of other Black people in our society will not disappear in light of this news. The grief that was suffered nearly a year ago—and is as traumatizing today as ever—has its origins in the abhorrent legacy of slavery. Though we are relieved by this verdict, the value and urgency of our fight for racial equality and justice remains. Healing is a process, and we can claim ultimate progress only when the entirety of our culture and all our behaviors, individually and collectively, become anti-racist.

We will soon share resources and events that may assist and support our community in dealing with ongoing racial trauma. On Friday, April 23, from 5-6 p.m., Professors Cheryl Grills and Bill Parham will facilitate “Managing Embodied Racial Stress.” This virtual gathering will be a space for listening, healing, and support, acknowledging the repercussions of the ongoing trauma related to systemic racism and violence. The gathering will center around the needs and concerns of our Black students, faculty, and staff, and all are invited to attend in solidarity and support.

I pray for each of you and for the family of George Floyd. 

In solidarity and peace, 

Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.