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A Message to the School of Music Community from Director Michael Kim Regarding the Verdicts of the Chauvin Trial

April 21, 2021

Dear School of Music Community,

As you all know, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of second and third degree murder and manslaughter yesterday. It was painful for us all to relive the horror of Mr. George Floyd’s murder throughout the course of the trial—and acutely so for the BIPOC members of our community. These verdicts do little to ease the indescribable loss for George Floyd’s family and for our black community. The all too familiar pattern of violence and tragedy that our black community experiences at the hands of police continues unabated; tomorrow the family of Daunte Wright, the young Black father who was brutally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center last week, will lay him to rest.

These are sleepless nights and difficult days for our BIPOC students, faculty, and staff; for our whole School of Music community; and for me personally. Please, take care of yourself. Take care of each other. Be patient, tolerant, and forgiving. There has never been a more important time for us to stand together as a unified, cohesive, and empathetic community, looking out for each other’s well-being and health in these stressful circumstances.

What else can we do? 

The systemic and deeply ingrained racism of our culture and institutions must change through the continued courage and boldness in the School of Music to practice and hold ourselves, one another, and our institutions accountable in this work.

Again—please come together to support and take care of one another during these tumultuous times, and above all, remember your safety and health comes first as we move towards the end of the academic year.  The heroic efforts of our students, staff, and faculty are simply without precedent in our storied history and have sustained our School of Music beautifully on so many fronts over the past year.  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and your dedication, service, and care continue to remind me what a great privilege it is to serve as Director of this great School of Music.  

My warmest regards to all of you,

Michael Kim

Director & Professor