Department Statement on the Murder of Tyre Nichols

Posted on February 13, 2023

Featured Image for Department Statement on the Murder of Tyre Nichols

Our hearts are heavy with the recent murder of Tyre Nichols.

As a Department of Social Work and Gerontology Program, we are responsible for actively engaging in the values of our profession, including valuing the dignity and worth of people and fighting for social justice. Tyre is not only someone who was murdered by police but also a person who loved his family, whose mother remembers how much he enjoyed skateboarding and sunsets. We share in the grief of his loss.

We cannot ignore the fact that Black and Brown people are at higher risk for fatal encounters with law enforcement. We are here to speak out against injustice and call for meaningful change at a systemic level. We support you as social work students finding a place to advocate for that change, through individual and group support of each other to peaceful vigils and remembrances of those who have been targets of violence.

We deserve to live in an environment of safety, and we all must be part of the community making it so, as Audre Lorde has said on sharing the burden:

I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.

We ask that you extend grace to one another during this time. We are available to students, staff, and faculty to ease your burden and we would also like to make sure you are aware of resources available to you:

Additionally, Campus Violence Response Center has opportunities to be supported OR to get involved and provide support.

Please take care of yourselves and take care of each other.