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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

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A Message From President Riley On The Derek Chauvin Guilty Verdicts

Yesterday in Minneapolis, the jury in the Derek Chauvin trial rendered guilty verdicts on all three counts in the murder of George Floyd. Many will find these verdicts as a relief as they speak to decades of police misconduct across the nation and in many communities here in New York City. Others may see this outcome differently. Nonetheless, I hope that these decisions serve as a “reset” in our collective consciousness on racial and social inequities and be but one more significant step in our nation’s never-ending pursuit of creating a more perfect union.

It is everyone’s responsibility to stand up and speak out against racial bigotry, hate, and injustices, particularly as we witness the rise of anti-Asian hatred during the pandemic. We know that such conversations are not easy and uncomfortable; however, we must speak with righteousness, veracity, and bravery. We must also hear others as they talk with compassion and empathetic hearts, seeking to understand what may be unknown to us.

I applaud the Statement issued yesterday by the SUNY Board of Trustees and Chancellor Malatras.

As an institution of higher learning within the SUNY system, Downstate is committed to providing students, staff, and our community continued opportunities for dialogue and solution-driven options to fight racism and other social ills plaguing our society, the nation, and the world. We firmly stand together against hate, violence, and willful ignorance and do our part to resist racism, oppression, and senseless brutality.

Any individual who believes they have experienced discrimination should immediately contact our Office of Diversity and Inclusion at (718) 270-1738. You may also email ODI at AskODI@Downstate.edu.

If you are having difficulty with this incident and would like some additional resources, please contact the Employee Assistance Program at (718) 270-1489, or email Magda Alliancin, Ed.D. at magda.alliancin@downstate.edu.

You may also reach out to the Office of Student Affairs at (718) 270-2187 or by email at studentaffairs@downstate.edu.

Thank you for all you do to make SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University an inclusive environment where everyone is respected and appreciated.

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About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit www.downstate.edu or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.