Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Publication Location: WASHINGTON
Contact: Kathryn Schoenberger   |   [email protected]

To the World Learning Community,

Earlier today the jury in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin concluded their deliberations, finding Chauvin guilty for the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020. Floyd was senselessly taken from family and countless friends who describe him as always cheerful and a quiet, beautiful spirit.

While this decision provides some accountability, it does not provide justice, and as an organization founded on the belief in a more peaceful and just world, and the humanity of all people, we cannot stay silent.

Floyd, who had been nicknamed “gentle giant” as a high school football star in Texas, was a father who had recently moved to Minneapolis to start the next chapter of his life, and was, like many, struggling to make ends meet after losing his job amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a pandemic which has disproportionately impacted communities of color. 

The murders of George Floyd and too many others at the hands of police are rooted in centuries of anti-Black oppression and violence in the U.S. that must be addressed. We are committed to doing the hard work of confronting our biases in ourselves, our organization, and communities.

At this critical juncture, we want to affirm that Black Lives Matter, and that Black voices and experiences are critical to our work as an organization promoting intercultural connection and understanding. We support the tireless work of organizers across our country pushing for a future that upholds a motto we are proud of and that inspires our work—of “justice for all.” 

The work toward a more just society is far from over and we know people may be experiencing a range of emotions. To all in our community, we want you to know that we are here for you together as World Learning and SIT, and we support you. To our faculty and staff, we encourage you to reach out to your managers and our Human Resources team for support. To our students and program participants, we encourage you to share your concerns with your World Learning program officer or the SIT Office of Student Health, Safety & Well-Being, where we also have counseling resources available to you. 

We also want to provide some additional resources you can use to reflect and take action:

Carol Jenkins
CEO, World Learning