Washington, DC – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson today released the following statement regarding the conviction of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd.
“Nearly 11 months ago, Derek Chauvin senselessly and callously murdered George Floyd in broad daylight. We are pleased that the justice system delivered guilty verdicts on all three charges against Derek Chauvin – something that was obviously warranted to anyone who watched the video recording of the horrific murder. However, we know that no jury decision can bring George Floyd back nor erase the pain and loss his family, friends, and community must grapple with forever. And today’s conviction doesn’t lift the fear of Black Americans that they or a loved one might be harmed or killed simply because of the color of their skin.
“While we know the road ahead toward racial justice in this country continues to be long and difficult, we must harness the light of this moment to lift up those who have been held down and advance long overdue change. We must work together to create an education system and economy that lifts everyone up and provides equitable opportunities for all. We must unite to reform and build a justice system that is free of discriminatory practices.
“Our nation’s public universities have a critical role to play in helping to create a more just and equitable society through providing a high-quality education in welcoming and inclusive environments to diverse student bodies. And they continue to serve as forums for the important discussions and debates that help advance and realize change. All of us have much work to do to build a better nation. As the association and convening body of public research universities, APLU is committed to this work through continuing to engage with member institutions on supporting and providing more opportunities for Black students, faculty, and staff.”