To: The Caltech Community
From: Cindy A. Weinstein, Chief Diversity Officer, Vice Provost, and Eli and Edythe Broad Professor of English
Date: April 20, 2021
Re: The Chauvin Trial and Supporting Our Community
The killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, has galvanized our community to reckon with systemic racism, to work toward racial justice, and to create an inclusive space where everyone flourishes and experiences a sense of belonging. This past year has seen a significant mobilization of our community, ignited and focused by the activism of our student leaders. We now find ourselves at another pivotal moment: the conclusion of the trial of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Although we do not know what the outcome of the trial will be, we do know that the pain of these events, and the disproportionate impact of each tragedy on Black members of our community, is profound. On an almost daily basis, we receive stark reminders of the work that is still required of all of us to ensure that our communities are welcoming, respectful, and safe. It is incumbent on each of us individually and as a community to stand together in realizing Caltech's commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility.
We understand the significance of this moment and are committed to providing all of the support we can. I encourage each of you—even before the outcome is known—to connect with colleagues, friends, and community members, who may be processing what they have seen and heard during the trial. In addition, please avail yourself of the resources and programs made available through Caltech's Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CCID) and the Equity and Title IX offices. Below is a list of future events and opportunities to participate in as the trial and related events unfold. Further information will be shared as it develops.
Upcoming CCID Events (Dates TBD in accordance with the trial):
- The Chauvin Trial Verdict: Resources and Support for the Community
This forum will be a space for dialogue and discussion as community members process the verdict of the Chauvin trial. This forum will engage in directed conversation and facilitated small-group spaces for community members to reflect and engage in meaningful dialogue, as we assert that Black Lives Matter.
- Processing Cultural Trauma: Affinity Space for the Black Community
This space will be a collective event for students, staff, faculty, and alumni who identify as Black and/or African American to process the conclusion of the Chauvin trial. This facilitated space will include BSEC, BLAC, Techers of Color, and Black@Caltech to address current needs from community members and provide support as an affinity space.
- Speak Out: What will it take?
Racial disparities in our criminal justice system must end. In this dedicated space, we will explore the need for concerted action and collaboration by publicly elected leaders, those in policing, and activist citizens to change the disproportionate use of force and unequal policing against communities of color.
Related Upcoming Events:
- Date TBD - Motivated by Hate: What is a Hate Crime?
- May 25, 2021 - In Memoriam: Commemorating the Life and Death of George Floyd
- June 19, 2021 - Celebrating Juneteenth: Spirit and Legacy