As President Houshmand and I shared in our earlier message titled Another Step Toward Equity and Justice, “…we are called to better understand our world and make possible a better life in it. Knowledge is not enough to solve problems. Action—even the seemingly smallest gesture on behalf of the marginalized—proves our character.”
On Tuesday, we watched a jury convict former police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. For many this moment may be bittersweet in that we finally witness accountability for police officers who betray their oath to protect and serve. Yet, George Floyd is no longer with us and his family and friends will forever be changed by his murder.
Where do we go from here? The verdict in the Derek Chauvin case may bring a sense of relief, sadness, and hope. Yet, what this verdict should represent is the beginning of a movement that results in racial equity and justice for all Americans and accountability in policing.
In 2019, we launched the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to lead and support initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion by developing and sustaining meaningful and collaborative relationships that result in a more diverse and inclusive community and centering the voices of our community to drive university-wide culturally sustaining initiatives and equitable opportunities.
An example of our commitment to center the voices of our communities is the Law Enforcement and Community Collaborative (LECC). The LECC, created last year, has a mission to bring together the Rowan community with local law enforcement professionals to address the following strategic priorities: develop professional development for law enforcement rooted in a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; identify and disseminate evidence-based practices that facilitate meaningful engagement with diverse communities; and develop an infrastructure to research, grants and program evaluation for LECC members and the broader community.
Conveners of the priority subcommittees include: Scott Thomson, former Chief, Camden County Police; Ryan Knight, Deputy Chief, Glassboro Police; Kevin Brown, Pastor, The Perfecting Church; and Evan Sorg, Assistant Professor, Law and Justice Studies.
We invite all of you to join us by participating in professional development opportunities and community collaborative spaces such as the LECC. For more information, check out our website at www.rowan.edu/dei or contact us at email@example.com.
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