We write to express our sadness and outrage over the killing of Mr. George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman while in the officer’s custody on Memorial Day last week. Egregiously, Mr. Floyd joins a far-reaching list of African-American citizens killed, beaten, or harassed by law enforcement, as well as at the hands of others for more than 400 years.
Understandably, we see communities continuing to erupt in angry protest across the country calling for justice and an end to institutional racism. Chico State may be far from Minneapolis, but institutional racism exists everywhere and many of our students, staff, and faculty are hurting too. Their sense of safety and wellbeing are shattered. When one member of our Wildcat community is affected, we are all affected.
At times like these, it is important for all of us to join together and reach out to those students, colleagues, and friends who may be hurting and in need of our support. Please reach out to the campus services that are here to support you, including the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Cross-Cultural Leadership Center, WellCat Counseling Services and the Employee Assistance Program. We know that utilizing these resources won’t solve the challenges, but we hope that they will help make you feel safer and supported.
The current civil unrest reminds us that social inequities continue to run deep. We must remain committed to building and fostering inclusive communities of excellence at Chico State. The pursuit of equity, diversity, and inclusion remains our number-one strategic priority. We will not tolerate acts of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, nor acts of bias, prejudice or violence that target individuals, especially those from marginalized groups.
Instead, we must strive to understand and put an end to social inequality and economic disparity. Creating safe learning environments where credible scholarly works and accounts of lived experiences of marginalized peoples form an important foundation for learning. Courageous conversations enable all of us to develop cultural competencies and combat our own unconscious bias helping each of us emerge with greater respect and appreciation for people different from ourselves.
Chico State is and always will be a beacon of hope and enlightenment. Together, we effect progressive social change.
Gayle E. Hutchinson, Ed.D., President, CSU, Chico
Bre Holbert, President, CSU, Chico, Associated Students