Oregon State University is planning to memorialize George Floyd on Tuesday, the first anniversary of his murder by a Minneapolis police officer.
The campus bell tower will ring 10 times at 7:25 p.m. Tuesday, “signaling the moments that Mr. Floyd’s life was taken from him a year ago,” Becky Johnson, interim president, said in a letter sent to the OSU community Monday. The event is also intended to memorialize other people killed by police in the U.S.
“On the anniversary of Mr. Floyd’s death, I ask that you join me and reflect on the many other Black people, including Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright and Ronald Greene, who have died in encounters with police, and the fear Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) experience daily,” Johnson said. “We must realize that racism continues and commit to OSU continuing its efforts to provide equity for all.”
In the letter, Johnson said the university — both the institution and the community around it — have taken positive steps toward equity, inclusion and social justice. Johnson listed Juneteenth becoming a university holiday in 2021, partnering with the university’s charitable foundation to raise funds for diversity and inclusion, and the Dam Change initiative led by Black student-athletes as examples of progress. Johnson also acknowledged there is still more work to be done at the university.
“We still have much to do,” Johnson said. “I am looking forward to receiving recommendations from the Task Force on Race and Antiracism, and I will meet soon with the President and Provost’s Leadership Council for Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice to discuss ongoing work and progress, as well as the recently created President’s Commission on the Status of Black Faculty and Staff Affairs.”
Johnson said she is committed to advancing these causes and Strategic Plan 4.0, which includes inclusion and accessibility, as well as the university’s Diversity Strategic Plan, released in 2018.
“We must and can do so much together,” Johnson said. “Please take time Tuesday to reflect on the passing of Mr. Floyd and how you can contribute to lasting and transformative change.”
Article was originally published by Corvallis Gazette-Times.