Statement Regarding the Kyle Rittenhouse Trial Verdict—and Pending Verdicts in the Trial of Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William ‘Roddie’ Bryan—with Guidance and Resources
November 22, 2021
Dear NYU community members,
In the last few days, there have been two nationally publicized trials that have, and continue to, impact members of our NYU community. On November 19, 2021, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges for fatally shooting Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, and critically wounding Gaige Grosskreutz during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Wisconsin on August 25, 2020, following the shooting of Jacob Blake. Today, November 22, 2021, closing arguments are underway for the trial of Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William 'Roddie' Bryan, who face nine charges for shooting and killing Ahmaud Arbery while jogging in Brunswick, Georgia, on February 23, 2020.
As a community, we must recognize the complex range of emotions many NYU community members are experiencing. The exhaustion, fatigue, frustration, and anger are distressing, particularly for members of historically marginalized groups who have been significantly impacted by the ongoing violence across the nation and elsewhere. We must also acknowledge that these feelings cannot be disassociated from the cumulative impact of centuries of violence, racism, and hatred directed toward BIPOC communities and their allies at the individual, structural, and systemic levels here in the United States and across the globe.
We encourage all members of our community to reflect and educate themselves and others about these histories and seek out, explore, and share the available resources on an ongoing basis. In the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation (OGI), we will continue to stress the importance of sustained global inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity, and access efforts that center action, accountability, and transformation as we confront these challenges together.
As a member of the NYU community, we suggest a few ways to provide and offer support to yourself, peers, and colleagues where and when appropriate:
- Acknowledge that current events have a significant impact on historically marginalized communities.
- Examples of acknowledgment could include verbal and/or written statements, creating spaces for conversation and time to reflect, process, and/or educate, and partnering with offices on programs and interventions. Please note: it is crucial to be intentional, thoughtful, informed, and prepared when working to address emerging concerns and needs.
- If there is a significant event that could directly impact students, colleagues, teams, etc., consider beginning your first meeting or class with a moment of recognition.
- Be mindful of how student group activities, classroom assignments, work tasks, and Zoom camera expectations may need to adjust or account for these needs.
- Utilize upcoming programs and current resources offered through OGI to educate yourself and share with others for continued learning:
- As part of this educational institution, leverage other educational resources available to you on- and off-campuses—including NYU’s institutes and centers—to research histories, legacies, and present-day realities of -isms globally.
- Engage with broader NYU global community resources; practice self and community care and note these selected resources:
- Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (CMEP)
- LGBTQ+ Center
- Wellness Exchange for students
- Mindful NYU
- Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation
- Center for Global Spiritual Life and Chaplains’ Circle
- Office of Work-Life
- Student Health Center
- Employee Assistance Program
- Student Life Staff
- Residence Life staff
- iLearn for our employees
- Zone Trainings—in addition to Microaggressions and anti-racism programs offered by OGI
As our community anticipates the closing arguments of today’s trial and as we approach the end of the semester, we hope you proactively connect with the resources mentioned above along with others available to you. OGI and our partners across NYU will continue to work diligently to support all of our global communities. We encourage you to visit our website and subscribe to our OGI newsletters for up-to-date information about upcoming events, programs, and highlighted resources.
Taking action requires each of us to work closely with our fellow NYU community members. No single strategy or action will erase or remedy the ongoing violence, intersectional -isms, and oppression. The loss of life and anguish felt can never be undone. As an institution, we recognize this truth and continue our collective efforts to make substantive, transformational, and sustainable change at NYU and beyond.
Dr. Lisa Coleman, Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation, and the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation