Message from Dean Forbes — June 1, 2020

June 03, 2020

Email sent to CBS faculty, staff and students on Monday June 1, 2020

CBS faculty, staff and students,

The death of George Floyd last week at the hands of police sparked outrage and sadness here and around the world. The devastation that has followed has impacted many members of our college. Knowing that this incident is hardly isolated and that members of the black community -- including within our college -- experience fear and trauma every day is heartbreaking. Our community is in pain right now. It is critical that we listen to one another, help one another and reflect on how we can be a positive force for racial equity going forward.

As President Gabel pointed out in her message last week outlining changes to the University’s relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department, we are part of the communities in which we reside. We should be able to count on law enforcement to protect all members of our community. This terrible incident represents a devastating failure to fulfill that commitment. This swift action is an important step and yet much work remains at every level.

As a college, we must be part of this change, and that starts by acknowledging the deep and systemic injustices sustained by Black, Indigenous and People of Color. In the coming days, I invite your thoughts and suggestions for how we can respond as a college and help those most in need. I also encourage you to take the time you need to grieve and process what has taken place in whatever way that means for you.

Keep taking care of each other,
Valery Forbes
Dean, College of Biological Sciences