In higher education we talk a great deal about teaching skills like critical thinking, textual analysis, information literacy, civic responsibility, and ethical judgement. We saw yesterday in Minnesota the importance of putting these skills into practice. Consider the initial press release about the death of George Floyd.
It was apparent from the outset that this official document did not reflect what transpired: the murder of a man named George Floyd.
Our responses to the Chauvin trial verdict will reflect our own lived experience and relation to the persistence and legacy of race violence in America. I am glad for the many powerful and emotional statements I have read, including this one from Chancellor Joseph Castro. I wanted to add only this: as Sonoma State educators it seems right to return to one of the key core values of our university's Strategic Plan: Diversity and Social Justice. We endeavor to embed these values across our curriculum. In teaching students to analyze, interpret, question, and critique, we are indeed seeking a more just and equitable world. Individual actions, like Darnella Frazier’s video testimony, matter. Collective outrage matters. Truth matters. Justice matters.