May 29, 2020

Dear CSU Community,

As protestors gather in cities around the country to express their outrage over the atrocity of George Floyd’s death, and as we grieve other incidents of hate and violence perpetrated against people of color—from Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky to Tony McDade in Florida and Chris Cooper in New York, we are united in our anguish and anger.

To the Black members of our community who are hurting so badly, your friends and colleagues all wish we could ease your pain. We are heartbroken for the families of those who have died at the hands of hate and for those who have endured racist incidents they will never forget. We are heartbroken for those protestors who have come together to be heard and who have been met with violence. And we are heartbroken for the young people around our country who must be watching and reading the news and wondering, “When will it stop? When will it change?”

As President of Colorado State, I affirm that it is not enough to commit to being a university and a community where hate and bias and racism are not tolerated. We are committed to being anti-hate, anti-bias, and anti-racist.

And because I recognize the inadequacy of my words during this painful and uncertain time, I urge all of you to read the powerful statement that the Office of the Vice President for Diversity released this morning. I echo their words, in hope that doing so brings some comfort:

To our Black and African American community members: we see you and we are here for you. Our hearts are with you. Our words and actions are with you.


Joyce E. McConnell