In Response to the Derek Chauvin Conviction

A message from Dean Jonathan Lee Walton to the Wake Divinity Community

Guilty on all counts–second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

That so many are relieved, if not surprised, by a jury convicting a police officer for such blatant brutality in public view speaks to the tragic history of racial bias and bigotry baked into this nation’s court and criminal justice system.  Yet it happened.  The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but when they do, it is because of the activism, advocacy, prayers, and protests of those throughout the globe, including many of you reading this message.  In this, we should all find hope.

Please remember to pray for the family of George Floyd.  Though they go to bed tonight knowing that Mr. Floyd’s murderer was brought to justice, they will still wake up tomorrow without a brother, father, and friend.  On Wednesday, April 21, from 8 am–4:30 pm, Wait Chapel will be open with members of the Chaplain’s staff present.  We invite you to come and pray for all who are weary and heavy-laden due to the weight of violence, bigotry, and structural inequality.   Never underestimate the power of prayer.

At the same time, we also encourage you to continue the struggle. At Wake Divinity, education is the bedrock of our advocacy and activism.  Thus, we invite you to join an event sponsored by the Slavery, Race, and Memory Project, WFU School of Law, Criminal Justice Program, and RECALL entitled, “Responding to Racialized Policing Part II: The Trial of Derek Chauvin.  It will take place on Thursday, April 22, at  6 pm.  A formal announcement with more details and login information will follow.

Thank you for all you do, Wake Divinity.  The wheels may turn slowly, but you must keep exerting the pressure.  Today we witnessed the evidence that you are making a difference.

One Luv,

Dean Jonathan Lee Walton
Dean of the School of Divinity & Wait Chapel
Presidential Chair in Religion & Society

Categories: News, Special Events, Spiritual Life, Words from Our Dean