President Brown’s Statement on the Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict

For me, one of yesterday’s most moving moments came when a man standing in the crowd in George Floyd Square in Minneapolis said to a reporter reacting to the Derek Chauvin verdict, “It is justice… just a bit of justice, but justice.” And then he fell to his knees in prayer.

I join him, as do so many others in the country, in saying, “Amen.” I hope this striking three-count decision starts a real and lasting move toward racial equity—so that Blacks and all people of color can begin to trust the institutions designed to protect all of our communities. The work that this will involve is monumental given our grave and brutal history.

This was, as the man said, just a “bit” of justice. Indeed, after years of witnessing far too many deaths and the callous disregard for the dignity and humanity of people of color, perhaps we should call it, instead, the beginning of accountability.

But every step, every gesture offered in goodwill, counts. So here at FIT, we will continue our efforts—our conversations, our training, our infusion of diversity into our curriculum, our developing Social Justice Center—so that every member of our community feels safe and welcome in every corner of our campus.

At this moment, however, my thoughts and prayers remain with the Floyd family, and hope that you will join me in wishing them peace.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
Fashion Institute of Technology