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In support of the Black community

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University of Denver

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Dear DU community,

The continued death of Black persons of color at the hands of police officers is unspeakable and intolerable. Like far too many Black people, Daunte Wright was killed by police officers when he was shot on April 11. This shooting happened a few miles away from where George Floyd died and in the midst of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed him. We agree with the sentiments expressed by Osagie K. Obasogie, the Haas distinguished chair and professor of bioethics at the University of California at Berkeley. In a June 2020 Washington Post article, Osagie called this continued killing of Black Americans a public health problem—“like the coronavirus that still rages.”

This systemic violence and racism, which is unfortunately woven into our society, occurs all too frequently, too often goes unnoticed and impacts each of us. We recognize, however, that some members of our community, in particular our Black community members, are enduring more of the trauma these insidious systems continue to bring. We invite you to join us at noon on Thursday, April 22, for an open forum to discuss the Black experience in the United States post-2020 and in the wake of current events. This will be a University-wide event for all individuals in the DU community.

Open Forum
Hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
April 22, 2021
Noon MDT

Zoom link
Passcode: 429383


Apryl Alexander, professor, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Nashwa Bolling and Effley Brooks, co-leads, Black@DU
Alexi Freeman, professor and associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, Sturm College of Law
Michele Hanna, associate dean for academic affairs, Graduate School of Social Work
Andriette Jordan-FieldsBlack community experience coordinator
Christopher Whitt, vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion

Additionally, at this time, please save the date for noon on Tuesday, April 27. In anticipation of the Chauvin trial verdict, we want to save some space and time for members of the DU Black community to come together for discussion, debriefing and healing. If a verdict is not announced by April 27, the date and time will be changed.

Here are some additional University resources available to seek support in person or online:

For students

  • The Cultural Center creates an environment where students of marginalized faiths and LGBTQ+ students can critically engage their historical legacies while enhancing their educational, intellectual and personal/professional interests as they relate to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic and cultural sensibilities. It is a physical safe haven for respite and dialogue as students navigate their journey at DU.
  • The Health & Counseling Center (HCC) provides many tele-medical and mental health services, including crisis and after-hours support. All University of Denver students have access to free crisis services at the HCC, regardless of insurance coverage, by calling 303-871-2205.
  • Student Outreach & Support is a University resource where trained staff members ensure that students are connected to appropriate campus resources, have a plan of action to meet their goals and learn how to navigate challenging situations. You can activate these services by completing an SOS referral at or by calling 303-871-2400.
  • My SSP provides support from professional counselors.

For faculty and staff

  • SupportLinc is the University’s employee assistance program. DU employees and their family members can access counseling and receive professional referrals to other experts. Call 1-888-881-LINC (5462) or log in to the SupportLinc website with username: universityofdenver.

We encourage supervisors and colleagues to be sensitive at this difficult time and allow affected members of the community the time to address their well-being.



Jeremy Haefner, chancellor
Mary Clark, provost and executive vice chancellor
Todd Adams, vice chancellor for student affairs
Andriette Jordan-Fields, Black community experience coordinator
Jerron Lowe, interim vice chancellor for human resources
Christopher Whitt, vice chancellor for diversity, equity and inclusion