A Message from the Director on Human Rights

June 2, 2020
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Harvard University’s research centers devoted to studying human rights have posted this joint statement about the horrific events in Minneapolis and around the country. At IQSS, we stand with them and deeply appreciate their leadership on this issue. We reproduce their eloquent words here in full.

“We strongly condemn the Minneapolis Police Department’s vicious and brutal murder of George Floyd. This and other recent events highlight the lethal impact of the racist criminalization of Americans of African descent and the need to explicitly name and unequivocally fight against the racism and violence that has been woven into the fabric of the United States since its founding.

"It is understandable that this longstanding, flagrant disregard for the human rights of African Americans has led to outrage across the country. We call on law enforcement officers responding to demonstrations to exercise utmost restraint and work closely with community leaders to avoid escalating the situation further.

"The murders of African Americans at the hands of police and vigilantes must stop and perpetrators must be charged and brought to justice. As research centers at Harvard University committed to human rights, we affirm the values of racial equity, justice, and non-violence. For the future of the United States, our public leaders must urgently do the same.”

For those of you in our community suffering now,  please understand that you are not alone and that Harvard has the resources to support you. See the university's efforts on Diversity and Inclusion, and its free mental health services, or contact me or our staff.

Gary King
Director, IQSS