Statements from the President and the Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
From the Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson:
Dear Buckeye Nation:
Breonna Taylor deserves justice, and this does not feel like justice.
We cannot accept what has happened in Louisville. We grieve the tragic and senseless loss of Breonna Taylor — a daughter, a friend, a niece, a loved one, who was unarmed and asleep.
The breakdown in the justice system in the killings of unarmed Black and Brown people in our country has become all too familiar, tragically. This isn’t going to stop until we create an anti-racist world.
We must come together to draw strength from each other and advance our collective vision for a better world where we one day have justice for all. There is much work to be done.
Let us speak plainly: The failure of the Louisville grand jury to bring a measure of justice to Breonna Taylor and her family is a huge collapse of our judicial system. It is a painful reminder that the American justice system, particularly in my native South, has failed Black and Brown people for generations. How can we say that Black Lives Matter, when this young woman is killed in her home by the police paid to protect and serve her?
These are gut-wrenching emotions we are all processing, but we must recognize that we are not alone. Please know that help is only a telephone call away with our Counseling and Consultation Services’ therapists. Further, I ask that you check on peers and confidants in your circles and community who may be hurting mightily with this recent news.
As I struggle myself to come to grips with this, I am reminded of the importance of the work we do each day. I believe that we will have a brighter future in this country, and the rising generation of students in our classrooms today will be a guiding force in seeing that come to fruition.
Our country must do better, and that is why we will do our part by making changes in our own systems through the ongoing work of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion as well as the efforts of the university’s Task Force on Racism and Racial Inequities. We will act with determination in the name of Breonna Taylor and countless others who have been lost along our winding path to greater equality, justice, and inclusion.