Message to CHC Community: The Death of George Floyd

To our CHC Community,

Our hearts are heavy as we bear witness to lives lost as a result of the insidious racism that pervades many aspects of our society. We mourn the death of George Floyd and we abhor the actions of the Minneapolis police officers that caused it. We understand the ensuing protest as a reaction to the lamentably long history of violence against Black Americans and the pervasive racism that both underpins and perpetuates it. Black lives matter and we aspire to live in a society where that fact is universally recognized. As former President Obama noted today, “every step of progress in this country, every expansion of freedom, every expression of our deepest ideals, has been won through efforts that made the status quo uncomfortable.”

One thing is clear: oppression does not fall equally among us. This burden is not shared, something that has become painfully obvious as we witness and feel the devastating convergence of economic despair, a public health crisis, and political upheaval. It’s important, then, to remember that the situation is made even more painful as people feel isolated, ignored, and unheard. This is a moment that requires more listening than talking.

As an academic community, our collective work is more important than ever. We must use inquiry, discussion and debate to dispel ignorance, combat hate, and undermine intolerance wherever they are found. We seek to help one another find kindness and empathy, not only now while we feel this collective outrage, but as we move ahead and do the work we must do.

We are grateful for the incredible work of our staff, faculty, and students during this unprecedented term. This academic year will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most challenging in the CHC’s 60-year history. Still, we find solace and hope in the extraordinary resolve, strength and generosity of spirit that you’ve exemplified each day.


With our deepest wishes for a healthy and just future,


Gabe Paquette, Dean

Liska Chan, Associate Dean for Faculty

Daphne Gallagher, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies

Renee Dorjahn, Assistant Dean for Finance & Administration

Elizabeth Raisanen, Assistant Dean of Advising & Strategic Partnerships


Important and helpful links:

President Michael Schill’s statement speaking out against hatred, racism and violence:

Vice President and Provost Patrick Philips statement on recognizing today’s challenges and providing comfort and care:

UO Alumnus, Eric Ward on 21 things we can do right now: