Message from JWU Chancellor Runey and JWU’s Campus Presidents

Story by JWU Media Relations , on Apr 20, 2021 6:00 PM


Justice has Prevailed

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — April 20, 2021 – In response to the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, Johnson & Wales University Chancellor Mim L. Runey LP.D., joined with JWU’s four campus presidents: Marie Bernardo-Sousa, LP.D., '92 (Providence), Larry A. Rice, Ed.D., '90 (North Miami), Richard Wiscott, Ph.D., (Denver) and Cheryl L. Richards, Ph.D., (Charlotte) to issue the following statement to the university community:

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” – The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Late this afternoon, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of the murder of George Floyd. Even as some – ourselves included – feel relief that justice has prevailed in this specific case, this is not a moment for joy. This case was not a victory for anyone: the circumstances of George Floyd’s death – and the dozens like it since – have widened a chasm in our nation. The long-simmering truth remains that Americans of color face barriers to success and threats that white Americans do not, and it is long past time that we recognize that our friends, classmates, and colleagues of color understandably feel uncertain, ostracized and oppressed. We must stay committed as One JWU to building a more inclusive and more determinedly anti-racist community on our campuses and throughout our entire network.

"Tomorrow evening at 8pm, JWU will host a virtual forum for students, faculty and staff so community members can process and express their feelings about the verdict and the broader state of affairs in our country. 

"Johnson & Wales University is firmly committed to nurturing and further strengthening an inclusive and equitable environment that embraces the broad range of diversity of all members of our community no matter their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age, physical ability, or how and if they worship. Our community accepts and celebrates diversity in every form – including diversity in thought.

We say today with complete unity and without equivocation that Black lives matter. That is not a political statement: it’s a human statement. The JWU leadership team will defend every student’s and every faculty member’s right to hold and promote any viewpoint, but as Wildcats, we cannot and will not defend views or actions that deny or threaten the existence of any member of our community’s equal rights."