A Moment of Justice after Chauvin Verdict, but More Work Ahead to End Systemic Racism

Sent: April 20, 2021

Dear Lynx Community,

Earlier today, I gathered with members of my Cabinet to watch the judge in the Derek Chauvin trial announce that the former police officer was found guilty on all counts of murdering George Floyd. I had anxiety all day leading to this moment because so many Black people and people of color have been failed by our justice system before. In this case, the jury’s verdict sent a message that everyone must be held accountable for their actions.

While I am thankful that justice was served in this case, there are no winners here. Not George Floyd’s family and not the too many Black men and women who are targets of racism, hate, and violence on a daily basis in our country. One guilty verdict does not erase the centuries of systemic racism that still exist today. As a society and at CU Denver, we have so much more work to do in the name of equity, diversity, and inclusion. My commitment to racial justice remains strong and active.

I write you today not just as your chancellor, but as a member of the broader CU Denver leadership team, including your vice chancellors and deans. We stand united in condemning hate and hateful actions in all forms and commit ourselves to social justice and the dignity of all people. It is incumbent upon our entire community to be that voice for non-violence, for peaceful dialogue, and for healing.

Today’s verdict may bring up various emotions for our students, faculty, and staff. Please know your entire CU Denver leadership team cares about you and your well-being. Below are a number of resources for our community, and we will be sure to communicate other opportunities for healing and solidarity. 

George Floyd’s death was tragic and preventable. It’s sad that it took such a tragedy to give rise to nationally visible calls for action. But we cannot lose this momentum. 


Michelle Marks




Many members of our community may experience strong emotions related to current events. Please connect with university resources to help you:

Chancellor’s Office

CU Denver

Lawrence Street Center

1380 Lawrence Street

Suite 1400

Denver, CO 80204


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