April 21, 2021

Dear students,

Justice for the death of George Floyd came yesterday when jurors unanimously found the man who murdered him guilty on all charges: second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. This verdict, so unequivocal and delivered so swiftly, has offered a moment of relief because the police officer responsible for his death was held accountable. To a nation despairing of ever seeing such an outcome, this verdict has also offered hope.

It also leaves so many questions and so much work to be done. As the United States and our communities reckon with structural racism – not only anti-Black but also anti-Asian, anti-Muslim, and anti-Latinx, among many other forms – you can use your time here, living and studying together, to educate yourselves about these biases and advocate against them, even in this extraordinary year, when our residential community is spread out around the world.

You will have opportunities to learn more and to turn your knowledge into anti-racist actions, starting with Thursday’s and Friday’s teach-ins at the law school, and the resources that President Salovey outlined yesterday. For some of you, this process will be a continuation of longstanding practice; for others of you, these will be early steps. For all of us – students, staff, and faculty – this is a responsibility not just for the coming days and weeks, but also for the months and years ahead.


Marvin M. Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science