On April 21, 2021 Dean Schwartz put out the following statement:
Following up on President Blanchard’s message, yesterday Derrick Chauvin was found guilty on all counts of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. There is a lot to process following the trial verdict yesterday and sentencing is yet to come. While the trial brought accountability, it does not fix systemic racism. As a college that prepares criminal justice professionals, social workers, and educators, we can and must continue to work together to be the change for equity. Our thoughts are with the family of George Floyd. As a College, we continue to stand by our faculty, staff, and students who have been impacted by George Floyd’s death and other unnecessary acts of injustice targeting historically marginalized communities. As always, please reach out if we can support you during this time.
- Dean Schwartz
On Novemberr 11, 2020 the College of Public Service put out the following statement:
The College of Public Service mourns the loss of George Floyd, a Houstonian, a man raised in the Third Ward who graduated from Yates High School, only miles from our campus. We not only mourn this loss of life, we join those across the nation who are grieved and angered by the actions leading to his death, actions we collectively denounce. The death of George Floyd is not an isolated incident. His death, and the deaths of other Black men and women, are the result of systemic issues plaguing our political and criminal justice systems, issues that create opportunities for unequal treatment felt predominately by people of color.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
The College of Public Service is dedicated to taking action to improve the quality of life for those in Houston and our surrounding communities. We recognize and address injustice by providing needed resources and evidence-based education and training to tomorrow's leaders in the fields of criminal justice, social work, and education. Changes to policy and practice that result in more effective hiring, training, and supervision of law enforcement are needed as are avenues for constructive conversations about how to heal our communities in crisis. Diversity and inclusion are hallmarks of our College community and we are committed to addressing implicit bias and racism present in our society and social systems.
Through our academic and professional training programs, as well as our Center for Public Service and Community Research and the Lab for Equity in Action we work towards achieving social justice by partnering with community agencies to build bridges through which understanding and healing can begin. Starting in the fall, we will host Community Conversations providing participants the opportunity to voice their concerns and ideas on how to move forward. We hope to promote the active listening of all to foster understanding that provides the impetus needed for change. We stand in solidarity as we continue to seek justice for all.
If you find yourself in need of support during this challenging time, we encourage you to utilize the following resources:
UHD Counseling CenterPhone: 713-500-3852
*If you find yourself in need of individual counseling services.
UHD College of Public Service Solidarity Circles
*Solidarity Circles provide group sessions led by faculty and students from the Department of Criminal Justice and Social Work. A group specific to racism and systemic violence is being planned.
UHD College of Public Service's Center for Public Service and Community ResearchPhone: 713-226-5244Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*If you are interested in partnerships with the College and opportunities for research and community engagement.
UHD College of Public Service's Lab for Equity in ActionEmail: EquityLab@uhd.edu
*If you are interested in training on implicit bias and related topics.
On June 1, the Dean put out the following statement:
Dear students, faculty, staff,
As the Dean of the College of Public Service, I strongly condemn police violence perpetuated against the Black community. The recent killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis is another example of the extra judicial systemic violence perpetrated against communities of color. I commit, as the leader of a public college that trains and educates police officers, criminal justice professionals, social workers and educators, to speak out against racism and to address implicit racial bias in all of the work we do. I also commit to strengthen and continue to build partnerships, inside and outside of the criminal justice system, to work together to eradicate systemic racism.
Dean SchwartzCollege of Public Service
University of Houston-Downtown