Paulette Granberry Russell, J.D.
President's Message

Accountability: A Step Towards Justice

On April 20, 2021 a jury found that Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd and the sentencing that will take place in a couple of weeks will determine more specifically how he will be held accountable for his actions. The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education believes that the jury was correct on all three counts and it is our profound hope that the family of Mr. Floyd finds some peace in the jury’s decision. We are gratified that the Floyd family will continue to lend their voice to the many families that have yet to see other law enforcement jurisdictions held accountable for their actions.

 

Accountability for systems that were not designed to assure justice or equity for Black people which include law enforcement, in this moment, is under scrutiny and will be debated at multiple levels, local, state, and federal. What should not be subject to debate, is the need to dismantle structural racism that has allowed such systems to exist for generations, perpetuate real harm, and contribute to the health inequities that exist today and took a pandemic for the country to finally acknowledge.   

 

The theme of our 2021 annual virtual conference was Dismantling Structural Racism: Transforming Higher Education. If colleges and universities are to best represent what they aspire to be--more diverse, more equitable and inclusive--they must acknowledge, interrogate, and dismantle the systems and structures that have been created and evolved over time which sustain inequities impacting the living, learning and work environment of students, faculty and staff. We must do our “home” work and demonstrate what it means to dismantle racism. As an organization that represents senior diversity officers, diversity professionals and scholars who lead and influence change on our campuses, NADOHE will lend our voice and expertise to this struggle.

 

NADOHE acknowledges that the verdict in the case of Derek Chauvin will lead him to being held accountable for his actions—and perhaps greater changes in policing and law enforcement. We are hopeful that it ultimately yields more—a nation that is truly equitable and just.

Paulette Granberry Russell, J.D.
President, NADOHE

 

 

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