In sadness, grief, anger, outrage and hope, WashU leaders have shared messages of our commitment and goals for action.


Chancellor Andrew D. Martin’s message: “Racial equity”
“The kind of enduring transformation that is called for and necessary here will require each of us to play a vital role, and it is critically important that we do this work together.”

Chancellor Andrew D. Martin’s message: “The challenges before us”
“We know you want action. We know you want an opportunity to be heard and engage with others, and we will make that happen.”

Chancellor Andrew D. Martin’s remarks: “Ring Their Names” vigil
“Here at Washington University, many of us are mourning, and many of us feel angry and helpless.  And in this moment I challenge us to channel that energy toward the greater good.”‘

Chancellor Andrew D. Martin’s statement “On racial equity and justice”
“It’s important for you to know that as a community, we are united in our commitment to justice and racial equity.”

School Deans

Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences Barbara Schaal
“As hard as it is, we can’t give in to hopelessness. This is a moment to ask ourselves what more we can and should be doing. The responsibility for addressing racism does not rest with a single institution but is a responsibility that we all share, especially our educational institutions.”

Dean of the Brown School Mary McKay
“It is important to continue in the struggle to stop the loss of life of people of color, whether it is a result of the pandemic or from being on the receiving end of unnecessary violence. This must stop!”

Dean of McKelvey School of Engineering Aaron Bobick
“These challenges confound a history of racial tensions with a growing disparity in resource amongst communities with a tradition of police authority that does not derive its strength from the trust of the community but from a position of power. The question then emerges:  How can we as engineers contribute to a solution to this compelling social challenge?”

Dean of Olin Business School Mark Taylor
“We see you and stand with you in your grief. We stand for better at WashU Olin Business School. We stand for justice, for diversity, for inclusion and for equity among all of those within our community and beyond.”

Leadership of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
“As architects, artists, and designers, we have the power to bring people together, to create visual works that respond to the challenges of our time and incite change. Now more than ever, it is necessary to design cities, spaces, and policies that not only promote equity, but that actively deconstruct segregation and systems of oppression.”

Dean of the School of Law Nancy Staudt
“As a law school with a strong commitment to social justice, we have a special responsibility to raise our voices. And in painful times, such as these, it becomes even more important to reaffirm our core values. We must do better and be better.”

Dean of the School of Medicine David H. Perlmutter, MD
“The promise of a great institution like ours demands that we hold ourselves accountable to our ideals. We must see, acknowledge and respond to the inconvenient truths of our existence and do what we can to end systemic racism.”

More University Leaders

Executive Vice Chancellor Pamella A. Henson, University Advancement
“Racism—and hatred in any form—has no sanctuary in our Washington University community. We stand with our Black alumni, students, faculty, and staff.”

President and CEO BJC HealthCare Rich Liekweg
“I can’t deny my privilege — but I can stand up, step forward and call out these injustices. And I can use the unearned privilege of birth for the benefit of all. If you cannot, then step aside, sit down and get out of the way.”

Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Rob Wild
“In this struggle we cannot lose sight of our goals and the individual work each of us must do to remain on the path of progress. At our university, in our work with each other and with our students, we have an opportunity to create change.   It is here, in doing this work that I see the future that is possible.”

Letters from the Center for Diversity and Inclusion
“Our choice to prioritize and align our values as a university with diversity, equity and inclusion during a moment at which we are faced with the most unprecedented challenges of our time, reaffirms the profound importance this work has on the future of our society.”

Director of Athletics Anthony J. Azama
“WashU athletics is dedicated to inclusion and will continue to meaningful dialogue necessary to serve our student-athletes and develop our staff so we are prepared to use sports as a catalyst of social change by what we do and how we live and treat one another.”

Career Center
“The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are among the most recent tragedies that have motivated a renewed commitment to empower and prepare all of our students to notice, discuss, and push back on inequities that exist in the workplace.

Director of the Gephardt Institute Stephanie Kurtzman
“Communities that have carried the burdening impact of injustice for centuries cannot continue to carry a disproportionate load. Everyone has a responsibility to participate. Everyone has a responsibility to actively engage in the progress and vitality of their communities.”

McDonnell International Scholars Academy
“Washington University is committed to activism and social justice, and our passion drives our friends and neighbors to make their voices heard in a positive and progressive way.”

Director of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum Sabine Eckmann
“Operating from within a university art museum, we have to ask ourselves, How can we—even on a micro level—change racist injustices and inequalities and the abuses of power?”

Prison Education Project
“We will continue to work towards a more just society that actively upholds anti-racist ideals and values and that holds individuals, institutions, and social systems that engage in, perpetuate, or condone racial violence accountable for their actions.”

Institute for School Partnership
“Recent events have once again shined a light on the many ways racism presses on Black citizens. We have to listen, we have to help, we have to change the trajectory for Black children.”

Director of the Social Policy Institute Michal Grinstein-Weiss
“These are dark days in our nation’s history. At a time when we are trying to respond to a global health pandemic and its disproportionate health and economic toll on families of color, we are witnessing endless injustices and brutality against black and brown civilians.”

Academic Departments

Department of African & African-American Studies
“We are communities made by a Black imagination of limitless ingenuity and creativity. As a department, we will continue to do our part to create a better world for Black people and all marginalized world-citizens.”

Department of American Culture Studies
“Let us all recommit to the crucial work of listening and learning and speaking to our families and communities about justice and injustice in American history and culture, and what we can do about it now.”

Department of Anthropology
“The faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis strongly affirm that Black Lives Matter, we stand with those seeking to change systems rooted in racism and discrimination.”

Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences
“We have to stand together with the victims of murder, marginalization, anti-Blackness and oppression because of their skin color – especially those in the Black community – and with those who seek justice through protests across our country.”

Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
“We hold deeply that racism and all forms of bigotry are toxic to human development–biologically, interpersonally, and socially.  Our work is firmly grounded in the belief that the voices and stories of Black children and families, which are too often muted, should be heard, valued, and understood.”

Department of Education
“Individually and as a community, we are working to change education and other systems that perpetuate inequity and inequality in our society.”

Department of English
“We may take this moment in history as memory and record of a will to change, and to change in ways that take us past the systems of inequity existing still in our midst.”

Department of History
“As historians, we are keenly aware of the long history of white supremacy, racism, and colonialism upon which US institutions were founded. This history shapes our present.”

WashU Humanities chairs and directors
“We are making a case for the profound ways the humanities can both inform and shape our individual and collective responses to this unique moment, and lead us forward with a new self-awareness, a shared sense of purpose, and a sharper recognition of our vital connections to our multiple communities.”

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
“As clinicians caring for patients at Washington University Medical Center/Barnes-Jewish Hospital, we raise our voices to break the silence that compounds the trauma in our communities. “

Perinatal Behavioral Health Service, Department of Psychiatry
“In the last moments of George Floyd’s life, he called out for his mother. This invocation stands as a reminder of George’s humanity and reminds us of the sacred role mothers play in protecting and nurturing human life.”

Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
“Individuals, collectives, and institutions have a duty to ask themselves how they can grow and move forward. All of us can not only learn from, but also try to be re-energized by, shortfalls and failures. We must demand more from institutions and ourselves.”


The ongoing racial violence that we are witnessing against people of color is nothing short of devastating.

Chancellor Andrew D. Martin

We must call out the racial injustice experienced by our Black community over and over, we must not become numb to the violence we witness against Black bodies.

Mark Kamimura-Jiménez