Message to the Community from the Chancellor, the President, and the Chief Diversity Officer

The following message was distributed on April 20, 2021.

To the Webster University community:

Today, as a society, we have witnessed a defining moment in history — the murder conviction of Derek Chauvin — and we want to reflect on that with members of our community. This is an important moment for all of us.

Today’s verdict will not return George Floyd to his family or loved ones, as they will never be able to talk to him, laugh with him or hug him again. We continue to grieve with the family and friends of George Floyd, just as we did last summer, in these sad and sobering times.

The protests about the killing of George Floyd became a global force to open our society to confront systemic racism, but those difficult conversations have proven to be polarizing. Now, that the verdict has been decided, it is a time for us as a community and society to come together and work toward healing. We believe that constructive engagement through community dialogue and academic pursuits will contribute to the necessary progress toward racial and social justice. Working through the pain in this historic moment and finding ways to heal is key to our individual and collective growth.

We realize that anxiety surrounding today’s verdict may cause stress and retraumatization, especially as we all continue to weather the effects of the pandemic. The mental health of our global community is a primary concern. For students, if you would like to speak with someone, please know that our Counseling and Life Development Department is here to help you navigate these issues. Additionally, we remind our colleagues among the faculty and staff that, through EAP, counseling and other resources are available.

Our community must work together to continue being a catalyst for positive change. We must work toward building a more equitable and inclusive society where those with differences learn to trust each other. We must, without hesitation, say Black Lives Matter. This is a defining moment in history. Let us not let the moment pass. Let us all work together to end systemic racism, inequity, and injustice, while preventing such incidents in the future.

Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble

Julian Z. Schuster

Vincent C. Flewellen
Chief Diversity Officer

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