UVA Nursing logo against a black background
Associate dean Susan Kools' message to School of Nursing students in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

To our beloved students:

We are reaching out to offer our support. Many of you are reeling with grief and anger from the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis while colleagues looked on and bystanders joined him as he begged for his life. Mr. Floyd’s death was only the latest of too many senseless killings and other mistreatment of African Americans by whites. We know that events like this have an impact on you, most especially our students of color and while we cannot be there for you in person right now, we are thinking of you and wanting to support in any way that we can. Please reach out to any one of us. 

As nurses and future nurses, we share common bonds rooted in compassion and wanting to help people heal. We need to understand how racism, both insidious and blatantly violent, has serious impacts on health, well-being, livelihood, and even life itself. And then act. We need to work tirelessly to advocate for health equity and to ameliorate the social determinants of health that are so often rooted in racism and poverty. 

But for those of you who are personally hurting, first take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Take in the support from others while you grieve. We stand with you.

In the School of Nursing community, we will keep working together to confront racism and social injustice of any kind and to live a different model of equity, respect and inclusivity in all that we do. Stay well and safe in these challenging times.

Sincerely, The IDEA Team

Susan Kools, Ishan Williams, Emerson Aviles

The Inclusion, Diversity & Excellence Achievement Initiative (IDEA)