President Conoley speaks out on racial injustice

Published June 2, 2020

President Jane Close Conoley today issued a statement on the police abuse of power.

We at the Beach are vehemently against police brutality and racial injustice. The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others have sparked protests across the nation. We fully support and stand by the black community at the Beach whose lives, health and safety are intimately impacted.

For 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the nation watched as Floyd pleaded for his life while a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground with his knee pressed against his neck. Recent events have given members of the black community reason for feeling that they are not safe going for a jog, standing on the sidewalk, or even in the sanctity of their own homes.

We support community-based policing built upon the foundation of trust and respect. We appreciate our campus police who do this kind of relationship-building with our students, faculty, and staff daily. We cannot, however, support the kinds of abuses of power that have historically targeted the black community.

We do not claim to have all the answers and we cannot promise that we won’t misstep in the process of learning. But we look forward to having meaningful dialogue with our black community members at the Beach to better understand the challenges we face ahead to make our campus more inclusive.

We can do better. We must do better. We will do better.

For the staff and faculty who are struggling with these recent acts of violence against members of the black community, please reach out to the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program at 562-985-7434. For students who would like someone to talk to, please reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services at 562-985-4001.

Jane Close Conoley