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A Message to the School of Music Community From Director Michael Kim Regarding the Trial of Derek Chauvin 

March 8, 2021

March 8, 2021

To all Members of the School of Music Community:

As you are no doubt aware, the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin begins this week. There are simply no words to describe the sheer horror of George Floyd’s murder, which continues to pain my heart and the hearts of so many members of our School of Music community.  

This will undoubtedly be a difficult time for many in the coming weeks. As President Gabel has also noted, this will be an especially stressful and deeply emotional time for our BIPOC community members. I want our BIPOC community members to know that I stand by you, love you, am here for you, and empathize with your pain.

I call upon all members of the School of Music community to exercise compassion, empathy, patience, flexibility, and support for one another as the trial progresses, recognizing that the trial will impact some students, faculty, and staff members more intensely than others. I encourage you to look to the Trial Community Support and Education resources President Gabel recently shared, as well as the mental health resources for the Twin Cities campus. 

There is simply no substitute for the compassion we must afford one another as we work to confront and change the systemic and deeply-ingrained racism of our culture. Nor is there a substitute for the courage we must practice to hold ourselves, one another, and our institutions accountable in this work. I am heartened by the recent, more systemic actions the University and College of Liberal Arts are taking, including the creation of a tuition-free program for lower-income undergraduate students, and the pending appointment of CLA’s new Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These are the kinds of deeper, systemic actions that will in turn strengthen, support, and inform our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts and discussions within the School of Music. 

There is much to be done, and it continues to be my privilege to serve as Director of this remarkable school. The resilience, ingenuity, and courage this School of Music community has repeatedly displayed over the past year confirm to me how bright our future is. I appreciate your patience and grace with me as our journey continues and as I learn alongside you.
Please stay safe and healthy, and take care of yourselves and one another. My deepest respect and admiration to you all. 

With my warmest thanks and regards,

Michael Kim

Michael Kim, DMA
Director and Professor
School of Music | University of Minnesota