Dear NCSSM community,
Today, a jury in Minnesota convicted former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin of all charges filed against him for the murder of George Floyd. I know many of you have been troubled and moved, as I have, while following this case over the past year and other cases of police violence against Black people in our country, and for many in our community it has surfaced deep, lifelong pain and fear. While this verdict provides some measure of justice in this single case, it remains the fact that this is only one of many needless deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police over the decades. Just in the past two weeks the deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo in the midst of this trial have amplified the tragedy of these injustices. These deaths and those of many others have prompted a vital and overdue national conversation about systemic racial injustice in our country as well as demands for meaningful change.
As an NCSSM community we have engaged over the year in dialogue on not only the national crisis of systemic racism and injustice, but how we as a school community can embrace equity and inclusion. Addressing larger societal needs begins at home. I am grateful for the members of our community who have provided leadership in this effort this year and in previous years. Our faculty and staff leaders have led race dialogue sessions for employees. Students have engaged in important conversations and have engaged school leadership in efforts to ensure that our diverse community is both equitable and inclusive. I am appreciative that many of you have been part of the process to hire NCSSM’s first Chief Diversity Officer, who will begin work this summer to help lead and deepen our equity and inclusion efforts.
Black lives matter. The lives of people of color matter. The examples this year of violent injustice should be anathema to us all. We as a country must confront the history of racial injustices against people of color. Each of us must listen to the truths of those from backgrounds other than our own, make a painful examination of our biases, and must work toward a good greater than ourselves. This is the work that we must all do here in our school, and in the larger community. I am committed to doing these things with your continued help and support. Justice today is justice earned tomorrow.
I am available as are your teachers, counselors, and other administrators to listen to you and to support you as you process the news of this verdict and the events that have led to this. Let us all continue our work in building a community and country that arcs toward racial justice.
ToddTodd Roberts, Chancellor