Skip to main content

Emilie M. TownesDear alumni/ae and friends,

Guilty on all three counts. These three counts can be—and hopefully will—be positive steps to not only police reform but to our very broken criminal justice system where the scales of justice are not blind but often tilted against the poor, people of color, women, queer, trans, and others…the list is far too long. This said, it continues to break. my heart that it had to take a 9 minute and 25 second tape of Floyd pressed against the ground, face down, pleading for his life, calling to his deceased mother, until he could no longer do so and none of the other police officers moved to help him. The same tape captured the gathered crowd shouting to the officer to let him up. It was a postmodern lynching of the most gruesome and inhumane sort.

My hope is that we realize that this is only the first step, not the conclusion, of dealing with the ways in which race and class can merge into inhumanity that we then turn into systemic violence that echoes for generations. We can be better than this, but only if we start, this day, to commit ourselves to eradicating injustice and begin with ourselves as we do our first works over and then turn our commitment into the world to make it so for all. To quote Alice Walker, “only justice can stop a curse.”


Emilie Townes signature



Emilie M. Townes
Dean and Distinguished Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society

To share this post, visit this link.

VDS on Twitter


Student Life

Mission, values and educational objectives


Admissions & Financial Aid

Explore our admissions process and how to fund your degree.

Our faculty

Our Faculty

Rigorous thinkers and passionate about the possibilities for God's world. 

Ways to give back

Ways to Give Back

Discover ways you can contribute to our mission.