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Wall fo Resilience mural

News & Events

Vigil for Victims of Racism and State Violence

Hampshire College continues to stand with our students, our graduates, our faculty and staff who are acting to resist white supremacy. Hampshire College insists that Black Lives Matter.

Words cannot offer solace to those in our community who have suffered the constant impact of racism and state violence. But we can gather in solidarity and support of those in our community who live with the burden of systemic anti-Black racism and the violence it perpetuates.

Dear Hampshire College Community,

This afternoon the jury in the trial of Derek Chauvin returned a verdict of guilty on all three charges in the murder of George Floyd. I hope this verdict brings some small comfort to the family of George Floyd and a moment of respite for our community.

While this jury saw the overwhelming evidence of the murder of George Floyd and held his killer accountable, this exception to the normal pattern does not change the reality of the systemic racism evidenced in our institutions, and made most visible in the actions of police forces around the country. On the first day of the trial, Chicago police killed Adam Toledo as he stood with his empty hands upraised. A day later, Florida police fatally shot Michael Leon Hughes. Last week, just a few miles from the courtroom, Daunte Wright was killed during a routine traffic stop. The New York Times reported that the police have killed at least one person every day of the Chauvin trial. We continue to rage and grieve over lives stolen and humanity devalued.

Police brutality disproportionately impacts Black people specifically and the BIPOC community generally. The dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racist violence are having a disproportionate effect on communities of color. Many of our students are struggling with the anxiety, anger, and exhaustion in the face of this ongoing oppression, as are our faculty and staff of color. Despite the despair many of us feel, it is the commitment of bystanders and local communities who actively witness and challenge police violence that created the possibility for holding the murderer of George Floyd accountable for his actions. 

Words cannot offer solace to those in our community who have suffered the constant impact of racism and state violence. But we can gather in solidarity and support of those in our community who live with the burden of systemic anti-Black racism and the violence it perpetuates. Tonight, I invite you to gather as a community at 8 p.m. for a candlelight vigil in front of the Resilience Wall.

Additionally, if you are a student and would like to speak about your reactions, emotions and feelings about this case or its outcome, please contact Counseling Services at 413-559-5458. Also, please report all incidents of threat, bias, or harassment experienced in-person or online to the Dean of Students Office, Zauyah Waite, zwaite@hampshire.edu or deanofstudents@hampshire.edu.

For faculty, please report all incidents to Dean of Faculty, Christoph Cox, ccox@hampshire.edu. Staff should report incidents to Director of Human Resources, Jake Toomey, jtoomey@hampshire.edu.

Hampshire College will continue to support local and national protests against police brutality. Hampshire College continues to stand with our students, our graduates, our faculty and staff who are acting to resist white supremacy. Hampshire College insists that Black Lives Matter.

Ed Wingenbach
President

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