January 30, 2023

NYU Community Members,

As many of us are aware, yet another video has been released—a disturbing and heartbreaking recording of hate and violence directed toward Tyre Nichols and his life senselessly taken at the hands of police in Memphis, Tennessee.

Firstly, our deepest sympathies go out to Tyre’s family and community. For those who feel afraid, overwhelmed, saddened, horrified, and exhausted as a result of the escalating and never-ending violence across our nation—you are not alone. Please take the time you need to reflect, be in a supportive community, and connect with resources you may need.

Secondly, this horrific tragedy serves as another reminder that violence continues to plague our society. We firmly repudiate all acts of violence and hate and recognize the hatred directed toward historically marginalized groups must cease. We understand that the released footage has motivated individuals to take action, and action is needed; we encourage all members of the community to channel their efforts into tangible work. Some examples include, but are not limited to, protesting, writing, engaging in artistic expression, and/or getting involved in political action (e.g., campaigning, voting, and contacting government officials). Whatever form of action you choose, we want to underscore that we all take actions that do not escalate violence. 

As we go into our Martin Luther King, Jr. Week here at NYU, we are reminded of Dr. King’s words—“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.” And, we know “there is no easy way to create a world where [people] can live together... But if such a world is created in our lifetime, it will be done by rejecting the racism, materialism, violence,” antisemitism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, gender-based-violence, homophobia, and other forms of hate. Times like these may test our resolve, but intentional and deliberate collaboration and collective action will help lead us toward the joint stars of accountability, justice, and equity. This solidarity is central to how we honor the life of Tyre Nichols and countless others whose lives have been taken far too soon. 

Thirdly, again, please reach out and refer others to the numerous resources across NYU as needed (not an exhaustive list), including the Wellness Exchange for students (212-443-9999 or wellness.exchange@nyu.edu), the Employee Assistance Program for employees, the Center for Global Spiritual Life, and our office, the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation. As a community, it is also important for us to continue to work together—to listen, to lend a helping hand, to take care of ourselves and other community members, and to share resources in the ways that may be needed.  

Lastly, we continue to actively engage in research and the creation of other tools to fight against violence against historically marginalized communities. Our work at NYU is to realize more global equity, inclusion, and justice as we continue to uphold our principles and values. Echoing the sentiments of NYU President Andy Hamilton, “our community is joined in sorrow and outrage and frustration, but also, I would like to believe, in hope for a better and more just future.” We continue to support the critical work across NYU globally to take actions to create more just futures for us all. 

Please note the Center for Global Spiritual Life and the Office of Global Inclusion will be hosting A Vigil in Honor of Tyre Nichols on Thursday, February 2, from 5:00–5:30 p.m. ET at 60 Washington Square South, Kimmel Steps. Additionally, there will be a Healing Space Centering Black NYU Community Members on Thursday, February 2, from 7:00–8:00 p.m. ET via Zoom. 

In sorrow, partnership, and action,

Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation