Office of the President

In Anticipation of the Memphis Police Video

January 27, 2023

Like many of you, I am outraged by the death of Tyre Nichols by Memphis Police earlier this month — an incident which Police Chief Cerelyn Davis rightly called “heinous, reckless and inhumane.” 

This latest killing of a Black man at the hands of police, and today’s expected release of the video showing it, trigger painful emotions among us — especially for those of us who are Black and have experienced the long history of systemic racism and violence against us. This accumulation of oppression and violence toward Black people continues to be shocking in its frequency and brutality.    

Whatever you feel — anger, fear, grief or more — know that I and many others share this range of emotions, and we must take care of ourselves and each other through these trying moments. 

I also call on the entirety of our community — not just the Black community, but our allies as well — to speak up for justice, to protest peacefully, and most importantly to deepen our understanding of the root of America’s anti-Blackness and to join together in eradicating it. 

Our campus is taking this work seriously, and we know it is a journey that takes time. I invite you to join us. Here’s how you can take action and also seek support through these resources: 



  • Come together in community with the African American Student Center (AASC), today (Friday, Jan. 27) from 2 to 3 p.m. via Zoom, which I will join, and in person at the AASC (Building 95, Room L110) Monday, Jan. 30 from 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Visit the Care Center (Building 97, first floor, (909) 869-5071 or and/or Counseling and Psychological Services (Building 66, Room 116, (909) 869-3220 or
  • Well-being coaching is available through the Care Center and AASC.

Faculty and Staff

  • Contact CPPLifeMatters(800-367-7474).
  • Email the Black Faculty and Staff Association for help finding additional support resources you need.



Soraya M. Coley, Ph.D.