Like so many others, I am horrified, angered, and profoundly saddened by yet more unnecessary loss of life. George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. There are too many tragedies. More than fifty years removed from the height of the civil rights movement, and yet here we still are. The arc of the moral universe may bend toward justice, but it has not bent nearly far enough or fast enough.
Recent events have highlighted the systemic and pervasive racism affecting our Black communities throughout the country. Amid the distress, our institutions – including those of higher learning – must listen, and more importantly, take meaningful action.
For America’s law schools, long championed for their affinity for fairness and justice, our responsibility is particularly important. Acknowledging those voices demanding accountability and change simply isn’t enough. More than forty percent of Congress’s members hold law degrees, as do more than thirty percent of state governors. Lawyers have a disproportionate influence on our society’s trajectory and on how moral priorities are framed. Among other things, we must act with greater intentionality to develop an active, engaged, and more representative legal profession that will better advance justice.
President Rosenberg recently noted that our FIU value system “promotes hope and opportunity and rejects violence and hate.” FIU Law’s Student Bar Association put it well: “We are here to do better because George Floyd and countless others deserved better.” Please know I remain committed to these goals and hope that you will join me in greatly increasing our efforts to strive towards them.
As we contend with these events, I invite you to join FIU’s live conversation at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, 2020 I Can’t Breathe, Racial unrest in America in the wake of George Floyd’s death.