A Shared Commitment to a Caring, Just, and Inclusive Community
April 21, 2021
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
A Minnesota jury rendered its verdict yesterday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, who was convicted for the murder of George Floyd last May. While the jury’s decision was a relief for so many in our community, there is much work to be done.
We are all painfully aware of the disturbing incidences of violence in this country in just the past several weeks, including a mass shooting in Indianapolis this past weekend. The number of people killed each year through intentional, violent acts is staggering.
One death is one too many, and while all violence isn’t race related, we acknowledge that far too often families of color are impacted by the race-related killing of men, women, and children.
We know that many of you in our campus community are impacted in some way. We share your anger and frustration, and we understand the value and solace found in peaceful demonstrations, thoughtful dialogue, and shared grief. Through these experiences, we learn, grow, and create the change we seek.
As communities around the country grapple with the justice, or the seeming lack thereof, in these violent episodes, we must work together with a renewed sense of urgency to foster an environment that ensures a sense of equity and belonging for every individual here in our own community. Institutions of higher education are uniquely positioned to effect transformational change through their focus on diversity awareness, critical thinking, and social justice.
Over the years, Purdue Fort Wayne has developed important statements, documents, and programs that guide our behavior, conduct, and actions. Our shared values are reflected in the university’s Civility Statement and in our Mission, Vision, Values, and Aspirations. Likewise, there are numerous federal, state, local, and university laws and policies that provide protections for all of us—and that we will not hesitate to enforce. We encourage you to leverage our numerous on-campus resources and to contact the University Police department immediately to report any concerning behavior.
During these difficult times, we take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment—and that of the entire Purdue Fort Wayne administration—to continue our work to ensure a caring, just, inclusive university community for everyone and ask that you continue to be vigilant and proactive Mastodons in sharing this commitment.
Ron Elsenbaumer, Chancellor
MarTeze Hammonds, Chief Diversity Officer