On June 1, President Bierman, Provost Eric Boynton, and Dean of Students Cecil Youngblood wrote a letter to faculty, staff, and students denouncing the racism and violence that led to Floyd’s death and the deaths of so many people of color before him. They pledged to “confront injustice in ways that are actionable.”
“Every time we reference our aspirations to being ever more an anti-racist institution, we set ourselves on this course,” they wrote. “We unequivocally condemn acts of racism and hate individually and institutionally. And, we reaffirm our commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity. From these arise the power of the Beloit community and the Beloit experience. In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to seek new ways to more effectively confront racism as an institution.”
On Friday, June 5, the city of Beloit held a community protest at Riverside Park to demand racial justice and police accountability. Although most Beloit College employees were adhering to Safer at Home guidelines during June and July, President Bierman encouraged the entire college community to join him in observing 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence in memory of George Floyd, whether they could participate in the demonstration that shut down Riverside Drive or were working from their homes.
That’s the length of time George Floyd, who was handcuffed, was pinned to the ground by a fired Minneapolis police officer before he died on May 25.