West Virginia University’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Meshea Poore and W.P. Chedester, chief of University Police, issued a joint letter to the Mountaineer family on Friday, June 5.
Read the full letter:
Dear West Virginia University Community,
People across the country, within the Mountaineer family and around the world are feeling pain and frustration in response to the horrific and tragic killing of George Floyd and countless others before him.
As the WVU Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Chief of West Virginia University Police, we hear that pain; we see that pain; we share in that pain with you.
These are senseless acts of hate and bigotry. Violence and hate breed violence and hate, and this is a time when we all need to come together and continue to lean on our core Mountaineer values.
As Dr. Gee shared in his letter earlier this week, the safety of our campus community is our highest priority at West Virginia University.
The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and University Police are committed to helping WVU create a safe, diverse, welcoming environment for our students, faculty and staff. Together, we have worked tirelessly to facilitate ongoing dialogue and training around healthy community policing, the preservation of rights and to build strong ties among our University Police officers and members of diverse populations across our campuses.
However, we know we can do better. And events such as what took place in Minneapolis create a ripple effect that can undermine the sacred trust we have worked so hard to create within our campus community. The officers responsible for this terrible tragedy swore an oath to protect and serve the public, and they failed at their most basic duty.
We stand united against the violence and racism, discrimination or bias towards Black people that has plagued our country for so many years. And by recognizing there is a systemic problem in many law enforcement agencies across the U.S. and taking a stand against injustice, we can begin the process of rebuilding trust within our communities.
We recognize this is just the beginning of many difficult conversations we must have regarding racial injustice in our country. But these conversations absolutely are necessary to create the change we seek and begin the healing process.
As we chart our path forward, we want our entire campus community to be engaged in the process.
We will be hosting a Campus Conversation focused on how we can work together to foster a safe, diverse and inclusive culture at WVU. The discussion will take place on Wednesday, June 10, 1:30 p.m., and we ask you to join us.
You can view the conversation at: https://wvu.zoom.us/j/92087760320
All campuses are invited to participate in the discussion, and supervisors are encouraged to allow their staff to join the session.
Questions may be submitted before the event to firstname.lastname@example.org or people will be able to ask questions anonymously during the conversation.
Please know that we stand in solidarity with our Mountaineer family.
Meshea L. Poore, Esq.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Chief of West Virginia University Police
CONTACT: University Relations/Communications
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