The Office of the President
May 29, 2020

Dear members of the SUNY Oswego community,

I am writing to express my sincerest sorrow and utter sadness about the death of George Floyd and the deeply troubling circumstances surrounding his death earlier this week.  Videos from eye-witnesses clearly show Mr. Floyd was in custody, handcuffed and pinned to the ground while a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.  Before he lost consciousness and died, Mr. Floyd was able to say he could not breathe.  This comes while we are still reckoning with the death of Breonna Taylor on March 13, an unarmed 26-year-old black woman, who was shot by police in her apartment, and the death of Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, an unarmed 25-year-old black man, who was shot while jogging in a Georgia suburb.  

On behalf of the SUNY Oswego community, I say to the families and loved ones, we grieve with you and stand with you and will commit to being steadfast with you in calling for justice for George, Breonna and Ahmaud.  We see the complete absence of humanity in these acts and we will keep you in our embrace.  Hatred, bigotry, and violence from any quarter can only warp our lives and shatter our peace at every turn.  Hatred, bigotry and violence against even one person operate as vile forces in our midst affecting all.  

We fervently want peace for the people of Minneapolis as we wish it for every community everywhere.  True peace can only grow where the evil of racism is rooted out. I ask you to be unwavering in your devotion to and demand for a culture of understanding and respect for all.  I call on all members of our caring SUNY Oswego community to stand together with renewed vigor to channel our pain and outrage into anti-racist action and other forms of positive change that will forever end inequity and the chasms of injustice that divide and defeat us.  I urge you to sow the seeds of true peace in every interaction and venue.  

Much work remains. We must be agents of a vastly better future.


Deborah F. Stanley

Office of the President
706 Culkin Hall
Copyright © 2020 SUNY Oswego, All rights reserved.