Message from President Davenport on George Floyd’s death

University commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

May 29, 2020 | Announcement

Dear Members of the Campus Community:
 
This has been a devastating week for the city of Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota and our nation. I was deeply saddened by the tragic and unnecessary death of Mr. George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday. Our hearts go out to Mr. Floyd’s family during this incredibly difficult time. Mr. Floyd’s death has been followed by increasingly dangerous and destructive protests and riots in the city of Minneapolis these past few nights.
 
While the damage and looting of private property is not condoned, we support the issues and concerns expressed regarding the unjust treatment of our underrepresented populations. These issues must be addressed universally throughout our nation.
 
We can do better as a society to protect all members of our communities, and higher education plays a vital role in educating and leading this work. In fact, the System and University’s focus on Equity 2030 goals and objectives directly addresses these issues before us. Our academic programs regularly undergo review to ensure our programs and curriculum are relevant. I am encouraged to learn that our Department of Government, including our Law Enforcement Program, is already reviewing curriculum and best practices, and engaging with our students in open discussions with multiple perspectives to devise solutions; ensuring that our graduates are fully prepared to work in a multicultural society.
 
Here at Minnesota State University, Mankato, we have a rich history of commitment to diversity and inclusion. We welcome all students and are proud that we increased our minority populations from 4% to over 17% in the last 15 years, and we are working hard to increase our retention and completion rates for all students, especially our students of color, and to close the opportunity gap.
 
I am immensely proud of the leadership of our Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Henry Morris, and the entire Diversity and Inclusion staff, who are providing guidance, support and mentoring to our students and community members, especially during these difficult times. Diversity and Inclusion staff are available to support our students, faculty and staff, and can be reached at 507 389-1150 or online at https://mankato.mnsu.edu/university-life/diversity-and-inclusion/.
 
I recognize the powerful impact these public and local events may have in your lives and in the lives of your loved ones. It is natural to experience many reactions, thoughts and feelings during this time. The University is committed to giving students, staff and community members opportunities for real conversations on these universal issues to help process thoughts and emotions, and to strive for a better tomorrow.
 
I would encourage you to turn to your colleagues, friends, family, and spiritual practices for comfort and guidance. In addition, remember the health resources available through medical plans, Virgin Pulse, and other SEGIP benefits, as well as the Employee Assistance Program which provides free, confidential support for employees and their families any time; call 651-259-3840 or 1-800-657-3719. Additionally, our Counseling Center is also available to our students by contacting 507-389-1455 or email counseling-center@mnsu.edu.
 
Thank you for all you do to make our university, our state and our nation a stronger and more inclusive environment.
 
Sincerely,
 
Richard Davenport
President

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