April 20, 2021
Managing Uncertainty Together
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Dear VCU and VCU Health,
The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is with the jury for deliberations, as our country continues to reconcile the realities of systemic racism and the inequities it causes in the meting out of justice. We recognize that the jury’s verdict, when it comes, could evoke strong emotions in many of us. However, this moment in our history may also be a watershed moment - the catalyst for change our country needs.
If there is anything we have learned about ourselves during times of uncertainty, it is that we can get through anything if we do it together. In that spirit, we urge all VCU faculty, staff, students and team members to seek out the proper support, make the time and space necessary to process what is happening and reflect on the meaning of this moment.
And for those who may be driven to become active in the community, VCU supports free speech and stands in solidarity with those peacefully expressing messages of social justice, equality and equity for all people. Let us be a model for civility and respect as we wait for a peaceful conclusion to this trial and move forward to create a more just society.
Michael Rao, Ph.D.
President, VCU and VCU Health System
Gail Hackett, Ph.D.
Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs
Art Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H.
Senior vice president and CEO
VCU Health System
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