The University of Maryland will offer administrative leave on the afternoon of June 8 for any employee who wishes to take time to remember the life of George Floyd, a black man from Minneapolis who was killed by police, university President Wallace Loh wrote in an email Friday.
On Thursday night, thousands of mourners gathered to grieve Floyd’s death across the country, following a memorial service held in Minneapolis for the 46-year-old man. At the service, Floyd was remembered by friends and families as a kind and gregarious “gentle giant.” His brother, Philonise Floyd, recalled how he would bring home kids from school who had nowhere else to go.
In the email, which was sent to faculty and staff, Loh wrote that he stands with the university’s community.
“I want to restate that, as an institution, we must confront systemic racism, and via our teaching, research and public engagement missions, endeavor to advance racial equity and social justice,” he wrote.