Chauvin Trial

The following message went out to all students on Tuesday, April 20, 2021


I can still recall how I was called to resentment, cynicism and anger after I heard the news that a jury acquitted three police officers who – brutally – assaulted Rodney King. I could not get my head around the notion that there was no criminal guilt for the assault that I, and millions of others, constantly watch on the news. Twenty-nine years later, I still struggle to be less anxious; less fearful, and more hopeful in these moments. I’ve gotten by with opportunities for reflection; getting together with others; sharing stories; crying and laughing.

Here are a few opportunities to reflect, come together, and share:

Daily reflection on President Brown’s Letter

Join us for a daily reflection on President Brown’s April 19, Message on the Chauvin Trial. The daily reflection will begin at 8:30 AM (EST) for 9 minutes and 29 seconds of reflection – the length of time a knee was on the neck of George Floyd, resulting in his tragic death – led by a member of the University community. This virtual reflection will begin on Friday, April 23, and continue Monday through Friday until May 7. Join us here for the daily reflection.

Coffee & Conversation 

In an effort to create space for our community to process the trial of Derek Chauvin, the death of George Floyd, and the history of police brutality and racial injustice in America. The Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground invites you to join on the following Zoom gatherings: 

Coffee & Conversation: Friday, April 23, 3 – 5 p.m. EST Passcode: 777017

Candid Conversations with Dr. Ibram X. Kendi: Wednesday, April 28, 4:30 p.m. EST  Passcode: 556129

For more details, please visit the Thurman Center website.

Make Outdoor Seating Areas into Conversation Spaces

Get yourself to the re-imagined outdoor seating paces – around the West Campus dormitories, at Towers and South, on the BU Beach, around the George Sherman Union, and on the College of Communication Lawn – and make them spaces for your informal conversations, discussion and expression.

Facilitated Dialogues

Join us to share your thoughts, talk with peers and express how you are walking through this moment. Be silent, vent, express your thoughts. Be as you are. Feel free to attend a small group facilitated conversation. Dates and times listed below, with Zoom links. Those that will be taking place in person are noted as such.

Wednesday, April 21, 11 a.m., in person at the Dean’s Lounge on the 3rd floor of the GSU

Thursday, April 22, 1 – 2 p.m., in person at the GSU Terrace (Rain location, Dean’s Lounge on the 3rd floor of the GSU)

Wednesday, April 21, Noon
Thursday, April 22, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, April 27, at Noon
Wednesday, April 28, 9 a.m. 

A Listening Ear

There will be a lot of media coverage, and you may find the coverage difficult to watch and read. It is understandable if you still feel anxiety, anger or sadness and it may be helpful to talk to others about what you are feeling. Boston University offers a range of supports and services for those who are experiencing stress or who may need a trained listener. Counseling services are available to students through Student Health Services and Behavioral Medicine and through our spiritual leaders based at Marsh Chapel. In addition, staff members at the Dean of Students Office are available to meet with individuals or groups who have concerns. 

Instead of a call to resentment, cynicism and anger, I hope your engagement in one or more of the opportunities is a call to community, action and new hope.


Kenneth Elmore
Associate Provost and Dean of Students

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