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Statement on the One-Year Anniversary of George Floyd’s Death

As the nation remembers George Floyd today and observes the first anniversary of his killing, Johnson C. Smith University’s president releases the following statement: 

“Today, we remember and honor the life and legacy of George Floyd, who was tragically murdered by a police officer one year ago. While Mr. Floyd’s horrific death has been a catalyst for change in this nation, the anniversary of his death and subsequent events resulting in the deaths of other Black and Brown people reminds us of how far we still have to go as a nation to ensure a just and equitable society that respects the rights and dignity of all people. 

For too long, Black and Brown people in this country have been denied their basic civil and human rights because of their race. Also, too many, like George Floyd, have paid the ultimate price due to the lack of respect and dignity shown them by those intent on treating them as being something less than human.  We must continue to hold law enforcement accountable for upholding their sworn oath to protect and serve all people of our diverse nation. It is my hope that we continue to see systemic change and that people of all ethnic backgrounds continue to support grassroot movements that advocate for racial equity and legislation which diminishes the systemic racism that disenfranchises minorities in America.

Johnson C. Smith University is committed to being an agent of change by providing access to education, creating pathways for upward mobility and being a voice for equity, equality and justice – not just for our future, but so the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others will not be in vain.” – President Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D.

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