Letters to the UMB Community

Statement on the Death of George Floyd

May 29, 2020

With the nation, the Minneapolis community and most especially his family, we grieve the brutal and senseless death of George Floyd. Our thoughts, prayers, and loving support are with his family.

Today, I signed onto a letter with the University System of Maryland leadership acknowledging with one voice the structural racism that is taking the lives of our fellow citizens. I am acutely aware that it has been five years since the death of Freddie Gray and our Baltimore community continues to call for justice and reform, for his death and unfortunately that of so many others.

We recognize the need for both justice and systemic change, knowing that a disproportionate number of black people killed are by police in the United States. What we are seeing in Minneapolis, and around the country, are reactions to this senseless death at the hands of those sworn to protect. While I do not condone destruction of property, we must remember that property is replaceable, while lives are not. We must, as a nation address both the incidental and systemic issues at play.

On Wednesday, June 3, I will hold a special Town Hall for the UMB community, hosted by the Diversity Advisory Council's Elsie Stines, DNP, CRNP, Assistant Vice President for Special Projects and Initiatives; and Russell McClain, JD, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the Carey School of Law; along with Wendy Shaia, EdD, MSW, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work and Executive Director of SSW's Social Work Community Outreach Service. I hope that you will participate and invite others to do so as well. We'll have more details to share with you on Monday.

We will continue to do everything possible to protect all members of the UMB family from hate, bigotry, and fear. We cannot be true to our mission to improve the human condition if we do not address issues of structural racism and inequality.

Sincerely,

Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS
Interim President


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