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Pepperdine University

Statement on the Death of George Floyd

May 30, 2020

I have found myself experiencing a mixture of emotions over the past few days: anger, sadness, and disgust are chief among them. I know I am not alone.

At the very heart of Pepperdine is love for all people. Our community includes thousands of faculty, staff, students, and alumni from every walk of life and with differing backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences—each one of them beloved. We believe God designed creation that way—with beautiful diversity. God created every person with equal value and dignity, and desires peace and justice in our world. As a Christian university, we are committed to being a light for justice, peace, and love, in our community, nation, and world.

Today, in the midst of the personal infliction of racial violence against Mr. George Floyd earlier this week, we stand in solidarity with those who have been affected, and with those who have lost loved ones in tragic incidents like this, now especially the family of George Floyd. We denounce the oppression of marginalized people and racism in all its forms. We stand for the tireless pursuit of justice for all, and the fight for radical and overdue change. We stand committed to upholding human rights for all people, and we affirm the values of racial equity, inclusion, and non-violence. As followers of Jesus, we stand with our Pepperdine community to declare that our God's heart is inclined toward the oppressed and marginalized, and we will not rest until there is healing and deep appreciation for the value of all of God's beloved.

May we all follow the wisdom of Micah 6:8, "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God."

Jim Gash
President and Chief Executive Officer
Pepperdine University