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UC Riverside Mourns the Death of George Floyd

May 29, 2020
Kim A. Wilcox
Chancellor
May 29, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

In March and early April, elected leaders held daily press conferences in which they reported the number of ventilators they had secured. In hospitals and labs, physicians, scientists, and device manufacturers looked for new ways to help patients suffering from COVID-19 breathe. Both federal and state entities went to great expense to ensure that those who needed it had air.

Then, this week, videos showed a police officer with his knee pushing into the neck of an African American man named George Floyd, while two others held his legs as he took his last breath. Before he died, Floyd pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” to the men who took his life. 

There is no denying that air is sought for some and stolen from others. 

The death of George Floyd follows the death of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed African American man chased down and shot by white men while jogging near his home in Georgia. 

We represent an institution committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. To those of you who too well understand the fear of being arrested, assaulted or killed because of the color of your skin – from ongoing Anti-Black racism to COVID-19 Anti-Asian upsurges, we want you to know we are with you and grateful that you are a part of our community. We will continue to foster an environment that not only values equality but fights inequity where we see it.

Our country has buried too many in recent months. We mourn all of these lost lives but today grieve most deeply a loss that didn’t have to be and reaffirm our commitment to work toward a better tomorrow. 

UCR Statements