June 1, 2020
Like so many across America, I am deeply upset by the racial injustice illustrated most recently by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as well as the continuing incidents of police brutality directed at people of color.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionately devastating impact on the health and economic status of our communities of color. It has also confirmed what we already knew -- that deep racial disparities continue to exist in our nation. We stand with our students, faculty, staff and alumni in demanding an end to this injustice. I commend our Student Bar Association for its statement to that effect.
I look forward to hearing from all of you about how we can best move ahead: to provide a forum for our community to express concerns, to encourage and galvanize our efforts, and to support those who are suffering most. I am also asking our senior staff and faculty leadership to work with our Diversity Committee and our Student Bar Association to find ways to help our community and to contribute to long-term solutions.
Our educational obligations at Vermont Law School are large ones -- our motto is “Law for the Community and the World.” I hope we can use our current physical distance as a strength, and work to live up to our motto. We will continue to educate our students and community to combat racism and all forms of discrimination. Law is an essential tool to improve our community and our world.
I hope you will stay safe and support one another during these times.
Dean Tom McHenry