Grief and Outrage Over the Killing of Daunte Wright

Dear Petrel Community:

Last night, we watched as Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, erupted in pain and outrage for a second night over the senseless killing of Daunte Wright. It is a story that is all too familiar, as his killing is part of a long history of state violence committed against communities of color. The fact that the trial of Derek Chauvin continues only a few miles away from where Daunte was killed only exacerbates feelings of helplessness and disbelief. While time may separate us from the collective traumas of last summer, the pain remains real.

We should strive to be a community that supports one another through times of tragedy and uncertainty. Students come to the classroom with their own understanding of these recent events, and may be dealing with feelings of anger, fear, shock, and confusion. I encourage us all to hold space for students to share their thoughts on these events and pause to reflect on all that students, staff, and faculty have had to endure in the last 12 months. Most importantly, connect with others who are doing the work—you are not alone.

Please take care of yourselves and each other and don’t hesitate to reach out for the support that you may need at this time.

Student Resources

If you are in need of counseling services, please visit the OU Counseling Center website, and check OU Connect for upcoming Counseling Center Support Group meetings:

Healthy Relationships

Navigating Current Social and Political Turmoil

The Steve Fund is an organization that promotes mental health and well-being for young people of color. They offer a crisis text line where students of color can text STEVE to 741741 and receive a live Crisis Counselor response.

Resources for Learning About and Taking Action Against Racism and Police Violence

Faculty and Staff Resources

The Chronicle of Higher Education, “What Does Trauma Informed Teaching Look Like.”

Teaching Tolerance “Don’t Say Nothing” by Jamilah Pitts – a consideration of the impact of teachers’ voices on students.

Tressie McMillan Cottom on the Moral Panics of Our Moment

In solidarity,

Dr. Laura Renée Chandler (she/her)
Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion