We have been deeply saddened by the violence that we have seen nationally in the past week. We join millions of Americans and Nebraskans in our condemnation of the tragic death of George Floyd.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney is and always has been a haven for the safe and meaningful exchange of ideas. We believe that we, as an institution of higher learning, have an integral opportunity to redouble our efforts toward education, learning, discovery and fostering critical thinking. It is through these discussions that we are able to engage, understand and work to end this unacceptable racism, inequality and fear in the country.
In remembrance, and in solidarity with all individuals suffering prejudice or who are victims of violence, we are planning a gathering at the UNK Bell Tower at noon Thursday. We will have a moment of silence that will last 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time that George Floyd was kneeled upon, unable to breathe, leading to his tragic death.
Moving forward, we would also ask faculty and students alike to consider ways to meaningfully engage these subjects in their classes and activities, as we look forward to the summer and fall semesters. It is the duty of the university to use its resources to solve issues of justice and disparities in equality, and to provide societal insights through education. We can use our knowledge, voices, peaceful actions and sense of community to make UNK, Kearney, Nebraska and our country a better place for all of its people.
Senior vice chancellor for academic and student affairs
Note: Those who attend Thursday’s event are asked to wear a mask or face covering.