April 14, 2021
Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,
It is painful to acknowledge yet another police-related death of yet another unarmed Black man in Minneapolis, less than a year after and less than ten miles from where George Floyd was killed by Derek Chauvin and where Chauvin is now standing trial. It is painful because we see history repeating and our justice system failing again and again. It is painful because Daunte Wright was just 20 years old.
Our hearts go out to Daunte Wright’s family, his community, and to all who have been affected by this senseless killing. And yet heartfelt thoughts seem insufficient in a moment that calls for action. What should we be doing to dismantle the systems and structures that perpetuate injustice? It is hard to know even where to begin.
And so, we are writing with a simple word of advice: Just begin. Do something. Use the resources of this community to expand your knowledge about systemic racism and state-sanctioned violence. Make a plan for examining power and privilege in your own life and for becoming an effective ally. Commit to practicing the art of dialogue.
This week, the Center for the Critical Study of Race and Ethnicity is offering an important opportunity to get started. On Thursday, April 15, at 7 p.m., the Center will be hosting a conversation about policing in BIPOC communities, in response to the recent killing of Adam Toledo in Chicago.
Next week, on Thursday, April 22, at 4:30 p.m., our chaplains will be hosting PAUSE, a gathering for prayer, poetry, silence, and solidarity, where we can come together again to reflect and to learn from one another.
There is a phrase we often use that is germane in this context: No one has to do everything but everyone has to do something. Please commit to doing something. Somehow we know you will.
Thank you in advance for your contributions and for the empathy and care that you bring to the Conn community.
Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion