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Standing in Solidarity and Support: Chauvin Trial Response

NC State community:

It was almost one year ago when I wrote to you about grief, anger and needed change following the tragic murder of George Floyd. Over the last several weeks, I know many of us have closely followed the Derek Chauvin trial, which has not only been troubling and at times heartbreaking to witness but has also led to more feelings of grief, pain and anxiety for many in our community.

Today the nation anxiously watched as the trial came to a close. As we respond, it is important that we don’t forget what brought us to this moment. Put simply, it leaves us all with much to process.

The trial’s conclusion follows an extended period of collective stress and uncertainty related to multiple incidents of violence against Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities across our nation. The tragic shootings of Daunte Wright in a Minneapolis suburb (only miles from where the trial was taking place) and of Adam Toledo in Chicago intensify these feelings.

Although many across our university and nation are relieved to hear today’s guilty verdicts, NC State’s leadership and I acknowledge that many members of our NC State community also remain exhausted, angry and uncertain. We know this is painful and difficult, most especially for our BIPOC students, faculty, staff and alumni. We also realize there is nothing we can write or say that will take those feelings away, but please know that NC State cares about you, stands in solidarity with you and is committed to supporting you.

NC State provides a variety of resources for our students, faculty and staff; please take advantage of this support if you think you might need it. NC State Prevention Services hosts virtual drop-in spaces, and colleges and departments across campus are working to provide more specific resources and opportunities to connect in the days ahead. The university also offers free resources through our NC State Counseling Center for students (virtual appointments are available) and through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program for employees.

If you teach students or supervise the work of others, please be aware of what people might be going through, and generously provide space, flexibility and support wherever needed.

In the days ahead, I encourage you to make the time and space necessary to process all that has happened and reflect on the meaning of this moment in history. Please also take time to reach out to others who might need some support, to have difficult conversations where needed and to always advocate for what’s right — that’s what it means to be a part of this Pack.


W. Randolph Woodson