May 24, 2021
One Year Later: The Murder of George Floyd
A message from Dean Isabelle Bajeux
I am sure I can speak for all of us when I say it is hard to believe a year has already passed since the tragic murder of George Floyd. Much has happened over that year, and we have seen so many movements advocating for equality gain momentum and affect real change. The Chauvin verdict, just a month ago, marked a major milestone in this battle for justice and accountability. But, as I said then, we still have a long way to go. There have been many murders that occurred before Floyd’s and after as well. The battle for equality neither started nor ended with George Floyd’s murder.
In response to the murder of George Floyd last year, this country was forced to take a deep look at systemic racism and confront the reality that real change, not symbolic gestures, is long overdue and requires intentional actions. Universities, businesses, governments, among others, came together to make a commitment to address racism and inequality in their organizations, and those commitments need to turn into real actions. When I joined the Tepper School, I made a commitment to create a more diverse faculty, staff, and student body surrounded by a community that would support people from all backgrounds.
At the beginning of May, the dean’s office released an update on our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For the past year, members of our community have been working to put plans into place to not just say we support marginalized groups but to define strategic actions we will take in order to do so. While we are still in the early stages of these changes, we are making progress. I do not want to react in over haste to define what we must do to make the Tepper School more inclusive. I want to ensure that our efforts are intentional and will result in real, definable change.
We are moving closer to a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic plan. We are continuing to receive invaluable feedback from our workgroups, and I would like to thank all of you for your commitment to guiding this process towards success.
I know today will bring up difficult feelings for many in our community. Know that we see you and support you during this time. As always, I encourage you to support your peers during this time and reach out if you need help. The Counseling and Psychological Services and COPE programs are available to students, faculty, and staff for any support you might need during this time. I would like to also encourage our community to visit the George Floyd Memorial Center website to learn more about how to get involved and stay engaged in activities promoting social change.
Dean and Professor of Finance