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Call for reflection and action

April 20, 2021

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Dear Saint Mary’s Community,

We at Saint Mary’s University, like the rest of the nation and the world, are emotionally reacting to Derek Chauvin being found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. As a Lasallian Catholic University, we are called to advocate for justice, particularly for those historically marginalized and silenced, including Black citizens.

The university encourages the entire community to peacefully reflect on this verdict in memory of George Floyd, which is consistent with the wishes of his family. Winona Campus students are reminded that the Jay Johnson Wellness Center is available for support. As emotions run high, we ask all of you to be especially kind to one another; this is a difficult time for everyone. Saint Mary’s supports each other and all who have been treated unjustly.

I invite your prayers for our community, our state, and the entire nation. We know that conversations and actions must continue to address racial injustice on a university, state, and national level.

In peace,


Rev. James P. Burns, IVD, Ph.D., President