Dear Mandel School community,
With the conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin yesterday, we have taken a step towards a better world.
In the 11 months since George Floyd died, police brutality and social justice have been front and center. As President Cowen and Provost Vinson referenced in their letter on Monday, “the size and intensity of the protests that followed Floyd’s death felt like a turning point—finally, the country could no longer look away from the horrors that Black people and other underrepresented minorities face from law enforcement.” The Black Lives Matter movement last summer gave us hope, and that hope was renewed with the outcomes of the fall election.
However, this spring we have witnessed mass shootings and the deaths of people of color once again. We are confronting the demons of racism within our own country, but the work of anti-racism has barely begun.
Yesterday’s outcome can be seen as a sign of progress though. As the university urged us in their letter last night, “May it inspire and embolden us to act even more forcefully against racism and discrimination of all kinds: explicit, subtle, or even unconscious bias.” President Joe Biden has said the conviction “can be a giant step forward in the march toward justice in America.”
Case Western Reserve’s core values of diversity and inclusion, along with the Mandel School’s mission of advancing leadership in social work and nonprofit education, scholarship, and service to build a more just world, have never been more important. We remain committed to positive change and believe that people of good can bring social justice for all.
Grover C. Gilmore, PhD
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean in Applied Social Science