A message to our community on the death of Tyre Nichols
Note: This message was originally sent to students via email the morning of Saturday, January 28. A similar message was sent to faculty and staff around the same time. We share it here to ensure it can reach any member of our university community who may be struggling today.
Last night, video footage of the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols was released widely. Although there have been many conversations about this violent act since Tyre’s arrest on January 7th, and his subsequent death from the resulting injuries three days later, the release of the video has left many of us feeling shaken, horrified, upset and angry.
We recognize how traumatic this incident, and others like it, may have been for you and other members of our community. For some, this violence and loss may be especially profound. We share your grief, and we mourn for Tyre’s family.
We encourage you to take the time you need to process Tyre’s death and its impact on those most closely affected by his loss. We also encourage you to give yourself space for the psychological and emotional protection you need; the video is graphic and may be hard to watch. Know that it is okay to choose to not watch this footage or any other captured images and scenes of violence.
The Center for Student Inclusion and Diversity will hold space for students to process their feelings and thoughts related to the recent acts of violence from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, January 30. A newly hired counselor embedded in the Center also will be available to provide support during those hours.
If you wish to get involved with efforts to create change, there are numerous campus, local, state and national organizations working to attain policy and practice reforms. We, too, will look for ways to pursue social change through our own spheres of influence.
Dr. Bob Davies, President
Dr. Nancy Mathews, Provost and Executive Vice President
Dr. Shawna Patterson-Stephens, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
Dr. Renee’ Watson, Vice President for Student Affairs