Dear Walden Community,
The video of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd—a handcuffed African-American man—who loses consciousness while being pinned down is nothing short of gut-wrenching and deeply disturbing. This took place in Walden’s hometown of Minneapolis, and it should shake us all to our core.
As president of Walden, as a husband, a father, and as an American, I am outraged. And I know that our students, alumni, faculty, and staff are, too. Over the last few weeks, the United States has been rocked by the unconscionable killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. I want each of you to consider how the black members of our Walden family felt as they watched these videos. Let’s reflect on how they grieved. Let’s acknowledge that this is not a new problem, and many of them have watched in fear for their safety and that of their loved ones.
As a university community dedicated to a mission of social change, we have a shared responsibility to advance racial and social justice. Our actions matter. It is up to us to unite and stand together in solidarity for racial justice and for the respect of every individual’s worth and dignity.
I ask that you get involved in initiatives that advance racial and social justice in your community. In the coming days, we will outline resources for how we, as a community, can do our part to fight injustices. We can make a difference and demonstrate the power of what it means to be part of a university that delivers Education for Good.
Dr. Ward Ulmer