Statement from Dean Neil B. Guterman on Kyle Rittenhouse’s Acquittal
NYU Silver Dean Neil B. Guterman sent the following message to students, faculty, staff, and alumni on November 22, 2021.
To Members of the Silver Community:
As a community of social work scholars, teachers, and learners, we stand in solidarity with those protesting against racial injustice, and share the pain at the outcome of the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who, at 17 years old with an AR-15-style semi-automatic gun, shot and killed Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, and injured Gaige Grosskreutz during protests of the shooting of Black Kenosha, WI resident Jacob Blake. The acquittal verdict is reminiscent of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the killing of Trayvon Martin, and once again lays bare the unequal and pernicious way our justice system permits and indeed enables deadly shootings. We also stand in solidarity with the Arbery family as we near a verdict in the trial of Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan, who shot and killed Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man in Georgia. Our profession stands for the promotion of all forms of social justice, protection of life, equal treatment, and we must continue to advocate against all forms of state sanctioned violence.
Such visible instances in the media can understandably be distressing -- particularly for our BIPOC colleagues and other members of our community from marginalized groups. Given this and the many other challenges of the day, I encourage our community to find ways to come together to give and receive support from one another at this time, and in the coming days. NYU offers a number of resources to help community members care for themselves in difficult times like this.
Students may access the NYU Wellness Exchange to talk with a counselor 24/7 via phone (212) 443-9999, chat through the Wellness Exchange app, or by stopping by during their virtual drop-in hours.