President Pitchford’s Statement on Ahmaud Arbery Trial Verdicts

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Dear campus community,

In Brunswick, Georgia, the jury has just returned guilty verdicts (predominantly) in the case against the killers of Ahmaud Arbery. Our reactions to this news may be complex. I’m familiar with Brunswick and some of its history, as I have family nearby; I was actually there last week. My heart aches for Arbery’s loved ones. I hope against hope that the result of this trial brings them some measure of peace, although the pain of their loss must (continue to) be excruciating. They had to fight for too long for some semblance of justice – even for Ahmaud’s killers to be charged.

For me in my position of privilege, one of the ways in which I understand the profound depths of racism and trauma embedded in this country is when I find myself waiting for a verdict as I did today, heart in my mouth, wondering what further pain and violence it may bring. As you know, I have already had cause far too often in my few months as president to address racial injustices occurring around us, even while also affirming a culture of equity and inclusion on our campus.

We have a long journey still ahead of us, but in this week of Thanksgiving I am deeply grateful to be walking alongside all of you, students, faculty, and staff, as well as our Board of Trustees. I invite you to hold me accountable for centering the principles of justice, equity, and love as the essential framework for my leadership and thank you for your valuable partnership. I treasure each of you and the diverse stories, backgrounds, and gifts you bring to Dominican.

Wishing you and your families safety and good health,

Nicola Pitchford, President

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