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Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

The events of this past week and the killing of George Floyd have unleashed a myriad of emotions – anger, rage, frustration, sadness, loss, fear, and desperation. At the School of Nursing, I know we stand in solidarity with the family and community of George Floyd. We are outraged and saddened about his tragic death and the deaths of countless other people who suffer similar injustices.

To our Black students, staff, and faculty, we want you to know that we see you, we support you, and we stand with you.

As a School that has embraced social justice as one its core values, we understand that the killing of George Floyd is yet another stark and painful example of the inequities in this country, as is the disproportionate impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on communities of color. 

Historically, nursing has been at the forefront of advocacy – and we know many of you are addressing inequities in many aspects of your work and lives. We call on our Penn Nursing community to come together in the fight against systemic racism and bias, and we stand with the rest of the University community to create a living, learning, and healing environment that is safe for all.

We welcome your suggestions as to how we can individually and collectively accomplish this, and hope that you will join us in our efforts.

Now more than ever, we ask everyone to support one another. When one person in our community suffers, we all suffer. 


Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor and Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing