A message from the dean: Thoughts on the passing of George Floyd

Dear International Division Colleagues,

The death of George Floyd has rocked communities around the nation, leaving us, yet again, shocked by a lack of basic human decency. Mr. Floyd’s passing has understandably brought grief, anger, and fear. Our hearts are with his family and friends as they mourn their loss and find ways to honor his life.

What we need now, more than ever, is strength in our communities. But what makes a community strong? We know from our work across borders that we accomplish much when we work toward a common goal. We know that respect is key to overcoming what divides us and joining us in celebrating what makes us unique. We know that we are at our best when we bring together perspectives representing different backgrounds and experiences–because we find strength and new ways forward in that diversity.

These principles, which we apply to our engagement with individuals around the world, are also needed right here, right now. Only by pledging to create better communities, rooted in respect, can we hope to build a kinder, better, and more just world.

I am committed to identifying training and learning opportunities we can take part in as a division. You will hear more from me about these next steps soon. In the meantime, I encourage you to talk with each other to process your feelings and share ideas. I know that some units within the division have already made plans to hold sessions for discussion, and I support these efforts wholeheartedly.

I hope the coming days will bring justice. I hope they will bring healing. And above all, I hope they will bring a new way forward.


Guido Podesta

Vice Provost and Dean, International Division