The University of Michigan board of regents created a “George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund” Wednesday and denounced “anti-blackness” school leaders said exists in America.
The George Floyd Memorial Scholarship Fund will “support student scholarships to those who have demonstrated commitment to bettering their community through social justice.”
The board of regents, along with university president Mark S. Schlissel, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Susan M. Collins, and Chief Diversity Officer Robert M. Sellers expressed “condolences to all who have been painfully affected by the horrendous murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis,” according to a statement reported by Mlive.
More via the statement:
Today’s guilty verdict follows a trial that was traumatic, as well. As U-M alumnus and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson has written, the defense sought to blame Floyd for his own death, invoking racist stereotypes and attempting to distract from the terrifying images we have seen of the murder. But as Robinson wrote, “We all can see who the victim is. His name is not Derek Chauvin.”
We know that many deeply personal and pressing societal concerns remain. No single verdict represents the end of the journey that must continue. This was a murder trial conducted in a system that continues to be imperfect – and one that has yet to fully reckon with the racism in our nation, and the anti-Blackness and devaluation of Black and Brown people that will not end without our perpetual collective insistence. The larger questions we face are crucial and inescapable for all who want a better world.
“Make no mistake, this verdict does not equate to justice,” Sellers wrote in a separate statement.
“It does not equate to closure. Justice and closure only happen when what happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others never happens again,” he said.
“Until there is justice, then we all have a responsibility to act and create change. We must all work to eradicate all forms of structural racism and oppression,” Sellers wrote.
The university offered counseling to students affected by the Minneapolis events and Schlissel praised the creation of the George Floyd fund.
“This scholarship is one way we can enhance our university’s commitment to investing in student leaders,” Schlissel said, according to the fund’s page.
“It also will serve as a reminder of the work to be done to create a more welcoming and inclusive environment here at U-M,” he added, “while honoring the legacy of all of those, past and present, who have continually called for us to strive for a better, more diverse and more inclusive university.”
In addition to the fund, the university said it was enhancing an “Anti-Racism Tenure-Track Faculty Hiring Program,” a student “Envisioning an Anti-Racist World” design challenge, and an “Anti-Racism Collaborative” to “recognize, honor, spotlight, and elevate the work of our research community related to racism and racial justice.”