A virtual town hall to continue that productive conversation. “Let’s Talk About America and George Floyd"


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USA Community,

The death of George Floyd at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer is deeply disturbing. It is profoundly sad. And, unfortunately, it is just the latest death in a list of names that have been seared into the minds of some, and forgotten by others.

Floyd’s life was over in eight minutes. An eternity, and an instant, in a country that long has struggled with issues of race and inequality.

The fate of the man charged in Floyd’s killing will be decided in the courts. We will decide ours.

We were encouraged by the peaceful vigil held Sunday evening in Mobile’s Cathedral Square, and by many of the protests around the country. Everyone should be heard. No one should be hurt or be made to feel unsafe. Violence in our streets is a distraction, counterproductive, and a dishonor to lives lost.

This Thursday, the University’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion will host a virtual town hall to continue that productive conversation. “Let’s Talk About America and George Floyd” is the latest in South’s Courageous Conversations series.

Panelists will include Dr. Paul Frazier, USA chief diversity and inclusion officer; Zeke Aull, USA police chief; Cynthia Tucker Haynes, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and USA journalist-in-residence; and Dr. John Friend, director of the University Counseling and Testing Center. The event will be moderated by Dr. Mike Mitchell, dean of students and vice president for student affairs, and Dr. Joél Lewis Billingsley, associate professor in the College of Education and Professional Studies.

Anyone in the USA community can join the conversation at 4:30 p.m. through Zoom, using Meeting ID 9105 079 1822 and the password 846831. Participants will be placed in a waiting room before joining and will be able to ask questions through the chat function.

We encourage members of our USA community to participate, to promote healing and condemn violence, and to hear the perspectives of others. We are listening.

Dr. Tony Waldrop, President

Dr. John Marymont, Dean of the College of Medicine and Vice President for Medical Affairs, USA Health

G. Owen Bailey, Chief Executive Officer & Senior Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs, USA Health

Dr. Paul Frazier, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Dr. G. David Johnson, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Franklin Trimm, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Assistant Vice President for Medical Affairs, USA Health