By |Published On: June 24th, 2021|Categories: University Communications|

Dear Colleagues,

It’s been more than a year since George Floyd took his last breath. Today, Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who murdered him, received a prison sentence of 22 and a half years.

Like many of you, I was waiting, watching, and listening as a judge handed down Chauvin’s sentence. I was thinking of what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said about the power of a single act of injustice to inflict a collective punch. Nearly 60 years ago, Dr. King wrote these poignant yet searing words from his cell in a Birmingham jail: “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.”

In May 2020, Floyd’s killing reverberated around the world. And as a country, we continue to grapple with its legacy—and the meaning of justice. On this day, as we take time to process the sentence that has been handed down, we can’t forget what W.E.B. DuBois called America’s dual system of justice—one for white people, those with privilege and power, and another one for people of color, the disadvantaged and those on society’s margins. Writing in 1957, Dr. King’s words from Birmingham were prescient and powerful. As I ponder them today, I’m reminded of how far we have yet to go to realize justice for all. But let us not give up the fight.

With kind regards,

Katrina S. Rogers, PhD, President, Fielding Graduate University

About the Author: Katrina Rogers

Katrina S. Rogers, PhD, is President of Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA, a distinguished graduate school known for adult learners in the fields of clinical psychology, human talent and development, organizational leadership, and education. In the course of her career, she has served the international non-governmental and educational sectors in many roles, including executive, board member, and teacher. She led the European campus for Thunderbird School of Global Management in Geneva, Switzerland for a decade, working with international organizations such as the Red Cross, World Trade Organization, United Nations Development Program, and the European Union. She also developed externships for students at several companies, including Renault, Nestle, and EuroDisney (now Disneyland Paris). She has doctorates in political science and history. In addition to many articles and books focused on organizational leadership in sustainability, Rogers serves on the Boards of the Toda Institute for Global Policy & Peace Research and the Public Dialogue Consortium. She received a Presidential postdoctoral fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation and was a Fulbright scholar to Germany where she taught environmental politics and history. She is currently studying environmental values among leaders that have responsibility for improving sustainability practices in their organizations. These are leaders from the corporate, governmental, and nonprofit sectors. The purpose is to understand how people’s worldviews are brought to bear on the actualization of sustainability work.

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