Statement on the Death of George Floyd, June 9, 2020
June 9, 2020
Today George Floyd, a son of Houston, was buried in Pearland, Texas. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery—these are names of victims of racist killings that we know, but there are innumerable names that we do not know because they have been swept away, buried under brutality and systemic racism. The names we can say are stark reminders that we have more, much more, work to do. It is not enough to mourn George Floyd’s death. We are charged with confronting and doing what we can to address centuries of social inequity. The Honors College must take action to ensure that we are doing everything we can to create an educational environment committed to diversity and inclusion.
This is a watershed moment for the Honors College. We must consciously reach beyond our experiences to understand and address the pain caused by systemic oppression. To continue and deepen the conversation that began on our social media pages, the administration and faculty have thought extensively about how the College and University can contribute to societal struggles against racial inequity and oppression. We will ask students, alumni, faculty, staff, and all members of the Honors community, in the days and weeks ahead, to join in a discussion of how we can do better.
In that spirit, I am announcing a commitment by The Honors College to take the following steps:
- We will schedule a series of dialogues bringing together alumni and others in the Honors family with members of the Honors College administration and faculty to discuss how the Honors College can become a better version of itself, in light of issues surrounding injustice, inequity, and inclusivity. If you would like to participate in these dialogues, please click here for additional information.
- Internally, we will host a series of Town Halls within the Honors College, bringing together, in turn, administration, faculty, staff, and students to have necessary, and likely difficult, conversations addressing these issues, including how the Honors College can evolve its curriculum and practices and contribute to positive change for all members of our community.
- We will establish an internal competitive grant to be awarded to an individual or team of Honors College faculty as seed money to support new, sustainable community-oriented initiatives focused on alleviating racial injustice and inequity.
We know that these are only first steps. Substantive change will take attention, commitment, and sustained effort. We will need all of your voices. Please know that we will listen carefully to what is said, think deeply about what is shared, and endeavor to make the Honors College a better place having benefitted from those contributions.
Bill Monroe, Dean