21 Apr 2021

Campus Compact Statement: Finding Our Collective Strength

In a just society, citizens need not fear being murdered by officers of the state. While the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is an act of accountability, it does not constitute evidence that ours is now a just society. Until the parents of Black and Brown children no longer feel compelled to teach the next generation how to avoid becoming victims of state-sanctioned murder, ours is not a country with justice for all. And until people of color no longer face discrimination in housing, education, health care, and employment, we cannot claim that our stated ideals are genuinely our guidinng principles.

Expunging the legacy of white supremacy from our institutions and practices will require continued work from all Americans, including and especially the beneficiaries of white privilege. At Campus Compact, we believe that all of us in higher education must dedicate ourselves to that work every day—not because higher education is special, but because it is not. Like every other sector, we are challenged to move from talk to action and to keep acting for as long as it takes.

We also recognize the deep stress and suffering caused by the continuing recurrence of violence and microaggressions against members of communities of color and the experience of reliving that violence through news coverage, social media conversations, and legal processes. This experience is exacerbated by the fact that white-dominated institutions refuse to view the testimony of people of color as credible. Each effort at achieving a measure of accountability thus requires the retelling of these stories until their truth is recognized and their implications internalized. The work of getting from here to there takes an enormous toll on people of color.

The men and women of the Minneapolis jury have rendered justice in the limited way they could. Now we need a space to release, love, feel, and be in community. We hope to create a space of compassion, respect, authenticity, courage, and community. 

Campus Compact invites you to join us as we hold space for our community in a discussion of the Chauvin Verdict this Friday, April 23 at 3PM EDT. Please click here for more information and to register.