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Chancellor Kelli R. Brown

Dear WCU Community,


A few minutes ago, a jury in Minnesota returned a guilty verdict on all counts in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. This verdict does not repair the harm, damage, and distress many in our community have felt over the past year and it does not simply make everything better. As a community and nation, we continue the search for an inclusive and just union.


As an institution and as thought leaders, we have a responsibility to shine a light on intolerance, and injustice. The end of this trial does not signal an end to the emotions many of you have felt. I recognize that. When our fellow Catamounts are hurting and angry, we must reach out with compassion and with understanding.


WCU Counseling and Psychological Services is available for students who may need assistance. They can be reached at (828) 227-7469. After hours and on the weekends, call (828) 227-7469 and follow the prompts to reach an on-call counselor. WCU faculty and staff can activate the ComPsych employee assistance program counselors by calling (855) 259-0382.


Ricardo Nazario-Colon, WCU’s chief diversity officer, will host an open Zoom room at noon each weekday until April 28 for faculty, staff and students to drop-in and participate in a respectful discussion.


We must continue to build momentum, together as Catamounts, so that we can achieve the equitable, diverse, and inclusive community we aspire to be.


Kelli R. Brown