St. Olaf College | Equity and Inclusion

The Chauvin Trial Verdict

Dear St. Olaf Community,

The murder of George Floyd last year traumatized and tested the very core of our campus, state, and nation and spawned difficult but necessary dialogue about race and social justice.

While today’s guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin represents one step toward justice, it does not bring George Floyd’s meaningful life back. We grieve for the Floyd family, who continue to mourn the loss of a beloved father, brother, son, and friend.

How we treat, nurture, and care for each other is at the core of our humanity in community with one another. As we continue to reflect on today’s verdict, I call on all of us to continue to do the work to change systemic racism and stand against the violence that impacts disproportionately those in the Black, brown, and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. The memory of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and countless other people of color must not be forgotten.

I know this has been a profound and trying period for our nation, our state, and our community. That is why we will hold tomorrow, April 21, as a day of healing and reflection for our campus community. We will not have classes and activities, and professors will use their discretion when it comes to assignments, clinicals, and coursework. Interim Vice President for Equity and Inclusion María Pabón will send a follow-up message to provide information and resources to help all of us reflect and begin to heal tomorrow.

Today’s verdict sends a strong message, but I know we are far from being done. There is more work to do on our campus to become an anti-racist institution. That work requires a shared, concerted effort by all of us — students, faculty, and staff.

Thank you for being a part of this important work.

Sincerely,
President David R. Anderson ’74
The President’s Leadership Team